Updated: May 9, 2019 7:10:19 pm
In another attack on Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said the prime minister would have to do 100 squats holding his ears if he failed to prove that TMC candidates were hand in gloves with the coal mafia.
Addressing a rally in Bankura, hours after PM Modi campaigned there, Banerjee further said she would withdraw her party nominees from all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state even if a candidate was found involved in such activity.
“I challenge you (PM Modi) if you can prove your allegations that one of us is part of coal mafia, I will withdraw all my 42 candidates. If you are lying, you have to hold your ears and do a hundred sit-ups before the public,” the TMC supremo said.
Banerjee’s outburst came after PM Modi accused her of establishing mafia raj in coal mines and depriving mine workers of their remuneration. The remark was in line with BJP repeatedly accusing the TMC of being a party of mafias, goons and hooligans.
“Purulia is endowed with natural resources. You are sitting on black gold. Till now, successive governments in the state have established mafia raj here. In fact, the Trinamool government has made mafias a part of its activities,” Modi said earlier in the day.
Countering Modi’s allegations, Banerjee said the Coal Ministry that controls the mines functions under the Central government and the mines were guarded by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
“People belonging to the BJP are involved in the illegal business of coal,” she shot back. The CM also claimed she was in possession of a pen drive that has information about a Central minister and a BJP MP “dealing in cattle smuggling”.
Taking a leaf out of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s playbook, Banerjee, without naming the prime minister and BJP chief Amit Shah, said the country was being run by Duryodhan and Dushshasan.
Having faced flak from the saffron party over her “slap” remark on PM Modi, Banerjee said her statement was misconstrued. The CM insisted she never said she would slap Modi.
“He is saying that I have said I will slap him. Arre, I spoke about the slap of democracy. Try to understand the language. Why should I slap you? I am not that kind of a person. What I understand is democracy. Slap of democracy means the mandate people will give by casting their votes,” the Trinamool supremo said.
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