Free Press Journal

You can find scandal in Trinamool’s every transaction: Jaitley


New Delhi: Union Minister for Finance Arun Jaitley interacts with the media on the volatility of the share market in New Delhi on Friday. PTI Photo by Vijay Kumar Joshi (PTI2_12_2016_000048B)

Kolkata: Calling the Mamata Banerjee government’s policies a “mirror image” of the erstwhile Left Front which “destroyed West Bengal”, union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said the biggest disappointment has been the Trinamool Congress’s vulnerability to corruption.

On a campaign trail in the state for the assembly polls, the BJP leader said one could find a scandal in every transaction by the Trinamool.

“It’s not just the chit fund scam or some sting operation or a flyover collapse, you lift one transaction, and you will find a scandal in it,” said Jaitley, referring to the controversies surrounding the Trinamool including the multi-crore-rupee Saradha scam and the recent sting operation in which many Trinamool leaders were purportedly caught taking bribes.

“The biggest disappointment has been the vulnerability of the Trinamool to corruption. Scandals have been emerging one after the other, but these are not isolated incidents. That one or two of the leaders committed mistakes, it’s a pattern. All the cases display a pattern,” Jaitley told mediapersons here.

“Their leadership is getting tainted in scandals one after the other,” he said.

Castigating the Communist Party of India-Marxist spearheaded Left Front, Jaitley described as a “nightmare” their 34 years of rule in the state which came to end in 2011, when the Banerjee-led Trinamool came to power.

“Instead of giving alternative policies and alternative political culture, the Trinamool followed the Left’s mirror image policies. Coupled with that are the syndicates, law and order collapse, vindictiveness, and widespread corruption.

“If the Left destroyed Bengal, the Trinamool belied the people’s expectations.

“If the Left (rule) was a nightmarish experience, the Trinamool certainly has been a disillusionment,” he said.

He also ridiculed the Trinamool for ordering an internal probe into the sting operation.

“Taking bribe is not an act of party indiscipline that they are conducting an internal probe. Through an internal inquiry, you can expel somebody from the party. But how can an internal inquiry deal with the penal consequences of bribery? It’s a crime which needs to be investigated by police or the CBI,” he said.

He also rubbished Trinamool leader and minister Chandrima Bhattacharya’s bid to give a “donation” angle to the bribery scandal.

“Donations to a party are subjected to certain law and regulations which needs to be followed. The donor’s name has to be given if the amount is in excess of Rs.20,000. The details need to filed with the Election Commission, have they done that? Let them do that first,” he said.

Observing that Bengal politics was at a crossroads, Jaitley exuded confidence in the BJP emerging as a big player in the assembly polls and assured it will work for development as the Centre has been doing.