West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said she will resign if it is proven that she dialled Union Home Minister Amit Shah after the Trinamool Congress lost the national party status.
Banerjee, who was speaking to reporters at West Bengal's state secretariat, said that her party's name will remain the All India Trinamool Congress.
"I will resign if it is proven that I called up Amit Shah over TMC's national party status," she said, rejecting Bengal's leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari's claim that she had made the call.
Adhikari on Tuesday claimed that Banerjee had dialled Shah after the Election Commission revoked TMC's national party status to request him to repeal the decision.
Banerjee asked will the Bharatiya Janata Party leader resign if his claims are proven wrong.
She said the media will get defamation notices if they do not cross-check before running what BJP leaders are claiming.
The TMC supremo said, "It was the norm to review the national party status of all parties after 10 years. That would mean the next review should have been in 2026 But they did it in 2019."
"My party's name will remain the 'All India Trinamool Congress'. If the BJP has any problem, they can approach the Election Commission and we will approach the common people," she said.
The ECI withdrew the national party status of the TMC, the Nationalist Congress Party and the the Communist Party of India last week.
Reacting to Adhikari's assertion, the TMC on Tuesday also said there is not even an iota of truth in it.
"Suvendu Adhikari is a habitual liar. We have seen how he has earlier brazenly lied about several political developments. Having a national party status or not is notional, it does not impact the growth of the TMC," party spokesperson Kunal Ghosh had said.
The TMC, through a letter, asked Adhikari to withdraw his 'false and vexatious claims' and warned him of legal action.
The TMC party's Twitter handle which shared the letter tagging Shah and Adhikari, also wrote 'See you in court'.
'We call upon you to immediately withdraw false statement failing which we shall be constrained to initiate appropriate legal proceedings,' the letter to Adhikari by TMC Rajya Sabha party leader Derek O'Brien read.
In the letter, O'Brien said, 'It has come to our notice that you (Adhikari) have said the following words: She (Banerjee) called him (Shah) four times and fell at his feet. She fell at his feet over the phone call. She asked if her (party's) national status could be kept till 2024. Amit Shah said that no, such national status cannot be retained.'
Banerjee said she has asked for the resignation of Shah who asserted that if the BJP wins 35 plus seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha seats from West Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee government will not survive beyond 2025.
"I demand the resignation of Shah for misusing his constitutional post and breaking the federal structure of our country, through attempts to topple a democratically-elected government," she said.
Taking on the BJP, Banerjee claimed that it will not be able to get more than 200 seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
"Will they use ED (Enforcement Directorate), CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), BSF (Border Security Force), CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) and other such agencies to manipulate elections? We don't even know what is going on with the Electronic Voting Machines," she said.
The TMC chief described the BJP as the 'biggest corrupt party' and said that 'instead of questioning others, they should first respond to the Vyapam Scam.
"Whenever elections approach, BJP leaders bring the same old narrative of CAA-NRC, Pulwama and other fake and false stories. These are old tactics," she said.
She also alleged that BJP has the money to spread fake news and urged people not to trust them.
The chief minister said that the state administration will look into the missing complaint filed by veteran politician Mukul Roy's son Subhrangshu about his father.
Roy, who his family says is suffering from dementia and Parkinson's disease, surfaced dramatically in Delhi after the missing person complaint was filed, and claimed that he is a 'BJP MP and MLA' and wants to meet Amit Shah.
"Mukul Roy is BJP's MLA, it's his affair if he wants to go to Delhi," Banerjee said.
Roy had won the 2021 West Bengal assembly elections on a BJP ticket after defecting from TMC, but had later crossed back to the party he helped found complaining of ill-treatment at the hands of the saffron party's leadership.
To a query on the non-BJP parties uniting for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Banerjee said they will 'come together' before the polls.
We believe that silence is golden, hence we are all quiet now. But before the polls, we will come together like a tornado, she said.
On the CBI collecting partially burnt documents from an open field in Bhangar in South 24 Parganas district, Banerjee questioned the authenticity of the documents and whether the entire matter was planted or not.