Attacking the Prime Minister Narendra Modi by referring him as “Paytm wala”, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said: “The person, who used to claim himself as a ‘chaiwala’ ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, has now become crorepati.”
She said: “It will not be tolerated if beneficiaries of MGNREGA are forced to have Paytm accounts as they (the Centre) want to get a commission on the hard-earned money of the poor. It is the right of the common people that they can deposit or invest their money wherever they want. The government (Centre) cannot force people to invest money in one particular company or buy a mobile of a particular company against commission.”
Urging people not to fall into the trap of Modi government, she said: “You (common people) would turn into pauper if you follow such directions.” Taking a dig at the Prime Minister for the arbitrary and hasty decision of demonetisation that she had claimed to be the biggest scam ever, Banerjee said: “He turned common people into paupers by announcing demonetisation. Whenever one raises the issue, he (Modi) claims himself to be a fakir and says that he owns nothing. I urge people to enquire as to how much (property) a fakir has in his possession.”
On December 8, Banerjee had tweeted that “the government is acting like a salesman. They have started selling products. They started selling plastic cards.”
Banerjee was speaking at a public meeting organised by the district administration in Bankura where thousands of people received different benefits under different schemes of the state government. She would hold the district administrative review meeting of the district on Tuesday.
Terming the Modi’s government “deaf and dumb”, she said: “Common people can realise the worst effects of demonetisation, but only the Prime Minister of India cannot understand the hardships people are facing. Demonetisation was also announced in Venezuela, but it was withdrawn after the government there had realised the woes of the common people.”
“The Centre can turn a blind eye to the people who are suffering due to demonstisation, but we have to take care of our people on humanitarian ground. I have asked the administrative officials that we have to keep up the pace of development works in coming years,” she said after asking the people in the “village areas” during the public meeting whether they are having required cash at present. In reply, the people listening to her speech in the programme shouted “no”.
“This is a public meeting and we all have heard the reply of the people. One cannot say that I have taught all of them to say that they are not having required cash with them,” she said adding that this comes at a time when the Centre is claiming that common people are not facing much trouble due to demonetisation.
“A person, who went to Puri recently, told me that there was comparatively less number of people both in the temple and the market, which otherwise remain packed round the year. It shows how badly demonetisation has affected the people from all walks of life including paddy cultivators, vegetable sellers and private tutors. A salaried person cannot withdraw money from his bank account despite getting a salary of Rs 50,000. Only time will tell whether our money is still safe in the banks or not,” the Chief Minister said.