A DAY after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the Modi government as the “most arrogant” she had seen, the state BJP on Monday accused her of helping “anti-national elements”, speaking “half-truths” and destroying the country’s federal structure.
“The chief minister has called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a dictator. She said the BJP government is out to destroy the federal character of the country. She also made some loose political comments, some bordering on anti-national leanings,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh told mediapersons.
With Mamata slamming the Modi government for setting up a central committee to monitor its schemes and the funds it sends to Bengal, Ghosh said funds for certain sectors have been blocked because the money was either not being used or was misused by the Mamata regime. “If someone gives money, the person has every right to ask how the money has been spent. The Centre has been giving funds but the state government has failed to produce utilisation certificates. We feel the money has been used to fund expenses such as giving donation to clubs or paying for unnecessary ‘utsavs’ of the state government,” Ghosh said.
“The Centre will soon appoint officers at the block level and at the treasury to monitor how its funds are spent. It will soon be clear whether the money was used to meet illegal expenses of the state,” he added.
Claiming that the comments show that Mamata was telling half-truths, Ghosh said: “While she is criticising the BJP government for not honouring federalism, she herself is trying to destroy the federal structure… Mamata Banerjee never cares for the truth. She knows that the recommendations (for the state) were not of the Centre but of the Niti Aayog, where the states have their representatives.”
Elaborating, Ghosh claimed a sub-group was formed in the Niti Aayog to review the centrally-sponsored schemes and it met four times before finalising its recommendations on the basis of extensive consultations. “Niti Aayog’s letter to the West Bengal government is based on those recommendations,” he claimed.
“Besides, West Bengal’s share from central tax devolution has increased. In 2013-14, it got about Rs 42,000 crore and about Rs 64,000 crore in 2015-16. All these show Mamata is telling half-truths and is only interested in changing the names of projects to her own name,” Ghosh said.
Criticising Mamata for raking up the Kashmir issue, he said: “Kashmir violence has no financial clause. Rather her own state is slowly becoming Kashmir as it harbours notorious Islamic fundamentalists and the state government is helpful to these anti-India groups.”
“We request and advise the honourable chief minister to help the federal structure of the country, to cooperate with the central government for the development of West Bengal. Narendra Modi has not arrested anyone for emailing cartoons. So, she should know best who is a dictator,” he added, raking up the arrest of Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mohapatra in April 2012 for circulating a picture spoof on Mamata and Trinamool leader Mukul Roy.
Referring to the Bengal government’s stand that the rate of GST to be levied should “neither too low nor too high”, Ghosh said the figure was yet to be decided. “The CM should know that there is a recommendation committee which would decide the GST rate. The chairman of the committee is state Finance Minister Amit Mitra. If she is not happy with the decisions and thinks that Mitra is unable to work for the interest of the state, she should ask him to resign,” he added.
Ghosh is set to lead a team of state leaders to New Delhi to meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday. “We will discuss the deteriorating law and order situation in Bengal, about the proposed change in the name of the state and some other issues,” he said. Sources said the delegation would also meet Union Health Minister J P Nadda and request him to put pressure on the state to take steps to curb cases of dengue.
with PTI inputs