Kolkata: Amid a raging political storm on the cut money issue, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday urged the CPI-M and the Congress to join hands with her to take on the BJP, which has been making steady inroads in the state.
"I strongly feel all of us, the Trinamool, CPI-M and the Congress should come together against the BJP. (The violence at) Bhatpara is an eye-opener for the people of the state as to what happens if votes go to the BJP", Banerjee said while speaking in the assembly. The Chief Minister, however, clarified that she was not suggesting that the three parties need to join hands politically. "What I am suggesting is that we can be on the same page with regard to common issues at the national level".
On the issue of cut-money, Banerjee said 0.01 per cent of those in the Trinamool could be corrupt, and said she was trying to discipline her party workers. "There is nothing wrong if I want to discipline my workers. But at the same time, no one can malign us without any proof". The state has been witnessing daily demonstrations and protests outside the residences of Trinamool leaders across the state by people demanding return of the cut money or bribes taken by the leaders for sanctioning government projects or reaching welfare schemes to beneficiaries.
Banerjee last week had lashed out against the unscrupulous section of Trinamool leaders and ordered them to return the cut money they had taken from the people. The state government has indicated that elected representatives facing allegations of taking cut money would be booked under section 409 of the Indian Penal Code that deals with criminal breach of trust by a public servant. The maximum punishment is life imprisonment. She alleged that the BJP-led centre was trying to run a parallel administration in the state, but her party was determined to fighit it. "The Central government has been trying to run a parallel administration in Bengal. But we will continue to fight, just as we have done over the past five years".