Jolted by the inroads made by BJP in the recent Lok Sabha elections, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday reached out to arch-rival CPI(M) and Congress to fight against the saffron party together.
“The people of the state are witnessing in Bhatpara what happens if you vote for the BJP. I feel all of us — TMC, Congress and CPI(M) — should come together in the fight against the BJP. It doesn’t mean we have to join hands politically, but on common issues at the national level, we can come together,” the TMC supremo said during the West Bengal Assembly session.
Banerjee, known to be a staunch critic of the Left, came to power in the 2011 Assembly elections after ending 34 years of CPI(M) rule. In the Lok Sabha elections, BJP put up a good show in Bengal, getting 18 seats, while TMC got 22.
Amid the growing Opposition heat over the ‘cut money’ issue, Banerjee said, “Nothing wrong if I try to discipline my party workers, no one can malign us without evidence.”
On Monday, Congress and CPM MLAs staged a walkout in the state Assembly to protest against the issue of “cut money” and demanded an inquiry into it.
To tackle the ‘cut money’ issue, the government has set up a new post in the Directorate of Economic Offences in a bid to curb the economic offences of public representatives
Banerjee is also considering booking the elected representatives and government functionaries in “cut money” cases under IPC section 409, which relates to criminal breach of trust by a public servant and others, and if convicted, is liable to be punished with life imprisonment.
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