THE RULING Trinamool Congress has taken it up on itself to inform the people of Bengal that the BJP — which has vowed to put an end to black money — is yet to submit its mandatory audit report for March this year to the Election Commission, in spite of repeated notices from the poll body.
The party, which is likely to approach the EC soon, has been for the last few weeks holding meetings, where pre-recorded tapes announce Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s views on demonetisation. Party workers have been instructed to work at the “very basic, ground level” to ensure that “the lies of the BJP can be countered”. Mamata’s vitriol, directed primarily at the Centre, needs to be “translated for the masses in Bengal”, said a Trinamool leader.
State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, however, insisted that the audit report has been sent to the BJP’s national leadership. “They will submit it to the EC,” he said while denying allegations of “suppressing audit reports”.
On Monday afternoon, outside the crowded New Market area in Kolkata — a microphone repeatedly announced that the reason people were finding it “difficult to shop for gifts ahead of Christmas and New Years wasn’t just lack of variety in goods”. But that it was all “Modi’s fault”. “The BJP hasn’t even showed their books to the EC and they claim to be honest?” it blared.
The issue was discussed at the Trinamool’s recent core committee meeting recently, following which, Mamata laid out clear instructions — protest on the streets against note ban and don’t allow the BJP to gain any more ground in Bengal.
Sources in the Trinamool said that while MLAs have been directed to raise the issue in their constituencies, MPs have been tasked to speak with other Opposition leaders to jointly protest against note ban. State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee said, “We will continue protests against note ban, as common people, especially farmers and tea garden workers, have been affected badly.”
Earlier, Mamata had told The Indian Express, “We are going to continue our opposition against the Modi government and demonetisation. I believe in constructive criticism and the Opposition needs to be united. Already, BJP has no one speaking in its favour. All these economists, it is not like they know me. But they are all speaking against demonetisation, warning people that this move will ultimately harm the economy. Who is speaking in favour of the government, except some people who don’t have a choice… This is a scheme to loot common people’s money.”