TAKING ON Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the BJP on Wednesday accused Trinamool Congress of not accounting for over Rs 24 crore “it spent on political campaigns” in 2013-14. Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal asked the Trinamool chief to “come clean” on the source of the money. Taking a dig at her, he said it was now clear why was she opposed to demonetisation, which was “aimed at curbing black money”.
As per the Election Commission’s (EC) guidelines, the parties have to account for their expenses even when they were getting funds from a third party, he said. PTI reported Goyal cited a media report, which claimed that the Income Tax department had reportedly sent a notice to Trinamool.
“While the Union government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking steps to curb black money and corruption and boost transparency, we now know why some parties were so opposed to transparency and demonetisation,” PTI quoted the minister.
In reply, the TMC claimed that while it has submitted all its account details to the Election Commission, it had replied to the I-T department over issues of alleged financial irregularities.
In a statement, Derek O’Brien, leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha, said: “A central minister who addressed the media today is playing dirty games. All India Trinamool Congress has submitted all its accounts to the EC. It has replied to communications from the I-T department. What gives the minister the authority to say all this?” “Instead, why doesn’t he check if his own house, his own party, is in order? Please don’t give us lessons on regulatory and financial compliance. Our party has fulfilled all criterion and therefore, we have been recognised as a national party recently,” he added.
“The minister’s so called press conference is part of a concerted attempt to browbeat political parties in the Opposition, independent sections of the media… When the government fires bullets at farmers and desperately wants to change the narrative, BJP cooks up a diversion…,” said O’Brien.
Recently, Trinamool had received a I-T showcause notice on alleged irregularities in the party’s audit reports regarding expenses incurred during the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.