Kolkata: In the midst of the former state food and supplies minister's detention by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made a statement on Wednesday, revealing that 'one crore counterfeit ration cards existed during the CPI(M) regime.'
"I am aware of the situation concerning our minister. However, during Jyotipriya's tenure as the food and supplies minister, they were the ones who eliminated one crore counterfeit ration cards from the CPI (M) era. They initiated the direct procurement of paddy from farmers. We distribute free rations and have introduced digital ration cards," Mamata explained.
Critiquing the central government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mamata accused them of 'plotting against the opposition.'
"The BJP is attempting to stifle the voices of all opposition parties. Prior to next year's elections, they are endeavoring to detain all opposition leaders, leaving an empty field for them to secure votes," the Chief Minister added.
Without specifying any names, Mamata issued a warning about investigating the property details of a BJP leader in the state.
Responding to the Chief Minister's criticisms, Suvendu Adhikari, the Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, emphasized that all his property information is documented in both his Income Tax records and election affidavits.
"The Adhikari family owned petrol stations prior to Mamata Banerjee assuming the role of Chief Minister. All of the pertinent information is readily available in our income tax and election affidavit records. I've defeated her once, and as she aspires to become the Prime Minister, she will encounter me no matter which constituency she chooses to contest from," Adhikari stated.
Challenging Mamata's allegations of 'corruption' during the previous CPI(M) era regarding rations, senior Left Front leader Shamik Lahiri questioned, "Why did it take so many years for her to tarnish the CPI(M)'s reputation on this matter? The current government is riddled with corruption and boasts a corrupt cabinet. She is attempting to stand beside a wrongdoer."