The West Bengal CM also accused the PM of 'removing crucial files' related to demonetisation.
Trinamool Congress member of Parliament Kalyan Banerjee on Wednesday kicked up a row by saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have to return to Gujarat as a ‘rat’ following the countrywide protests against the note ban, remarks that drew a sharp response from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
"In 2019 (Lok Sabha poll) you will be reduced to a rat. You will no longer be a lion. Narendra Modi ke Chuhar bachcha hoye Gujarat phire jete hobe (Modi will have to return to Gujarat as a rat),” he said while addressing a meeting in front of the Reserve Bank of India office in Kolkata.
Hours later, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has taken on Modi over demonetisation and is riled by the arrest of her two party MPs in the alleged RoseValley chit fund scam, also used the rat analogy to target the prime minister and the Central Bureau of Investigation.
She said the prime minister was ‘advertising’ a company whose 40 per cent shares were owned by a Chinese firm.
"The PM has become salesman for a company 40 per cent of whose shares are owned by a blacklisted Chinese company,” she said.
Training her guns on the CBI for the arrest of TMC MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Pal, she said, “CBI is no longer an independent agency. It is ‘Conspiracy Bureau of India’.
"They thought that TMC is made of soft clay which even rats can dig. We fight with tigers, we will not get scared by rats," she said.
The West Bengal chief minister also accused the PM of ‘removing crucial files’ related to demonetisation.
She alleged that demonetisation was a ‘ploy to transform white money into black and black money into white’.
"Crucial files are being removed by Narendra Modi and his office. We will get to know the magnitude of the scam only after Modi is ousted from office. This demonetisation is nothing but a ploy to change white money into black and black money into white,” she told a rally outside the RBI office in Kolkata.
Mamata urged the Reserve Bank of India authorities to ‘stand up against the anti-people Modi government’ and reveal the amount of money provided to various states after high-value currency notes were taken off circulation.
Claiming that the CBI was being ‘used to victimise’ her party because it raised its voice against demonetisation, the Trinamool Congress chief accused the central investigating agency of ‘using’ former employees of Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund companies to create ‘back offices’ in order to come up with ‘false evidence’ to implicate TMC leaders in the scam.
The TMC has been staging a 72-hour sit-in outside the RBI office in Kolkata against demonetisation since January 9.
"The RBI was kept in the dark about the decision. It should stand up against the Modi government and reveal the real reasons behind demonetisation. It should make public how much money has been pumped back into the economy and the amount of money states have received post demonetisation,” Banerjee said.
She alleged that ‘only Modi and two-three of his associates’ were aware of the decision to scrap old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
Banerjee indirectly hit out at a section of industrialists and officials close to Modi, describing them as ‘part of Modi’s team’ behind the demonetisation decision.
She alleged that the Communist Party of India-Marxist had entered into a ‘political match-fixing’ with the Bharatiya Janata Party as it was ‘under the Left rule that the chit funds had mushroomed in the state’.
Banerjee also took a jibe at Modi's ‘56-inch chest’ saying that even Ravan, the mythological character in Ramayana, had a big chest.
"In the two months since demonetisation, revenue earnings of the state (West Bengal) have gone down by 25 per cent. We have incurred a loss of Rs 5,500 crore in these two months,” she claimed.
Banerjee expressed surprise that while 92 per cent of the villages in the country did not have post offices, Modi was ‘canvassing’ for a ‘blacklisted’ company like Paytm.
"Will people eat plastic cards or Paytm? Will they (Centre) decide what we will do and what we will not?” she asked.
Hitting back at TMC leaders for their remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said it is ‘lowest that politicians can stoop to’ and said it reflects their frustration over growing popularity of the prime minister and the BJP.
‘I am shocked and depressed over the abusive language used against Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Trinamool Congress leaders. This is the lowest that politicians can stoop to. I hope their leadership realises their folly.
‘This only reflects their frustration over the growing popularity of the prime minister and BJP,’ Naidu said in a statement in New Delhi.
Reacting to Kalyan Banerjee’s comment, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said in Kolkata the TMC MP was not mentally fit to be a member of Parliament.
“I really feel ashamed to think of him as an MP. He is not at all fit to be an MP. He should immediately resign from his post. He should visit a doctor and have a proper mental check up done as he has lost his mental balance,” Sinha said.