CPI STATE secretary Prabodh Panda Friday slammed the law minister’s claim that Trinamool Congress leaders seen accepting bribe in a sting video were “taking donations”.
“It is disappointing that the law minister (Chandrima Bhattacharya) is saying such things. She is justifying the bribe by calling the money donations. She should know that any amount over Rs 20,000 (for donations) cannot be taken in cash,” Panda said at the Press Club.
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Bhattacharya had earlier said that even if she agreed for an argument’s sake that the TMC leaders had accepted the money as shown in the video clips, they could be donations and not bribe.
Panda said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had shown a lot of principle by walking out of the NDA government when some BJP leaders had been accused of accepting money in a sting operation. “If she has even a bit of that principle left now, she would step down from the post of Chief Minister,” he said.
He accused the state and central governments of “helping each other”.
“While the Centre had gone slow on the multi crore Saradha scam, TMC, in turn, helped BJP pass anti-people Bills in the Rajya Sabha (where the latter is in a minority),” Panda said.
In response to a question, Panda remarked on the Left Front’s 34-year-old rule, saying the government committed a “mistake by interfering” in the functioning of educational institutions.
“The Left had done many developmental work but committed some mistakes in the process, too. Intervening in autonomous bodies was one of those (mistakes) that should have been avoided,” Panda said.