‘I live off my books’
Being questioned over her “overpriced paintings”, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Tuesday gave a detail of her “austere life” and claimed that she made a living by publishing her books.
“I manage my living by selling my books. But they (Opposition parties) have problem with that too,” Mamata said.
Stating that she has written 45 books, she said she gave the royalty on her first book to the victims of the Kandua violence at Amta in Howrah district.
In an apparent reference to questions raised by BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi who asked her to name the person who bought one of her paintings for Rs 1.8 crore, she said, the money raised from the sale of her paintings is taken in cheques in favour of ‘Jago Bangla’ (Trinamool Congress mouthpiece).
“I have organised three exhibitions of my paintings. Rs 1.1 crore from the sale of my paintings was given to the Spastic Society and CM’s relief fund,” the Mamata said, adding that after she assumed office in 2011, she found there was no money in the CM’s relief fund for payment to the poor on health grounds.
Mamata, a seven-term Lok Sabha member before she became CM, said, “I have not taken pension as yet amounting to Rs 50,000 per month in the past three years as a former MP. I do not take any privileges as the CM, do not draw salary as CM or use government cars. Even for tea, I pay from my pocket and not from the government money. I used to do this even when I was the Railway Minister,” Mamata said.
“I have no family,” she said, hinting that she has no needs and thus has no reason to indulge in corruption.