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Mamata accuses Modi govt of stealing country's reserves to fund BJP

twitter-logoPTI | March 8, 2019 | Updated 16:10 IST

(Eds: Updating with additional inputs) Kolkata, Mar 8 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the Modi government on Friday of stealing the country's reserves to fund the BJP and wondered how would it protect the country when it could not safeguard the Rafale deal files. Launching her party's campaign for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the Trinamool Congress chief claimed that the country would have a new, people's government after the election. Trashing the bravery chants of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders after the Indian Air Force carried out airstrikes on terror camps in Pakistan to avenge the killing of 40 CRPF jawans in a terrorist attack at Pulwama last month, Banerjee claimed that Jammu and Kashmir had witnessed a 260-per cent rise in terror-related incidents under the present regime. The current government, which had gone past its "expiry date", could not restore peace in the Valley, she said, adding that a new government at the Centre would bring stability in Kashmir. "You (the BJP-led central government) have stolen all the reserves and money of this country and you are using it to fund your own party. From where is the BJP getting so much money to buy motorcycles for their cadre? We are not fools, we understand everything. "Earlier, they (BJP leaders) did not have the money to afford two square meals, now they are buying motorcycles for the cadre. You are using the public money you have looted in the Rafale deal and demonetisation to buy motorcycles," Banerjee said, while addressing the International Women's day rally organised by her party. BJP president Amit Shah launched a countrywide motorcycle rally from Madhya Pradesh last week. BJP workers in states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra reached out to people to share the achievements of the Narendra Modi government with them. Mocking at the Modi government over its alleged failure to protect the files related to the Rafale fighter jets deal, the TMC supremo wondered "how will it protect the country when it can't protect the Rafale files". "They (Modi government) are saying the Rafale files have been stolen. You have stolen the entire country's (reserves), nothing is left. Once you leave office, the people of this country will get to know how the reserves and public money have been looted. "Such is the condition that RBI governors, CBI directors have to resign. You have destroyed all the institutions," she said. Attorney General K K Venugopal informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the Rafale files were stolen from the Defence Ministry. The government also threatened The Hindu newspaper with action under the Official Secrets Act for publishing articles based on data allegedly taken from the stolen documents. Led by Banerjee, thousands of TMC workers and supporters marched from Shraddhananda Park to Esplanade in the city. They were carrying party flags and posters against the BJP government. In the upcoming general election, besides the Congress and the CPI(M), the TMC will have to fight against a resurgent BJP in West Bengal, which has 42 parliamentary seats. Currently, the TMC has 34 Lok Sabha MPs from the state, the Congress four, while the CPI(M) and the BJP have two each. Criticising the government for its alleged failure to restore peace in Jammu and Kashmir in the last five years, Banerjee claimed the state had witnessed a 260-per cent rise in terrorism under the current regime. "Now they are saying they will fight terrorism after five years. (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi had said acts of terror would reduce after demonetisation. On the contrary, there has been a 260-per cent increase in terrorism," she said. Questioning why terror attacks such as the ones at Uri, Pathankot, Pulwama took place despite intelligence reports, Banerjee said as polls were round the corner, the government was trying to create a "war-hysteria". Shouting slogans like "Gali gali mein shor hai, Modi sarkar chor hai", "Rafale mein shor hai, Modi sarkar chor hai" and "Modi hatao, desh bachao", she alleged that lynching of Dalits, tribals, minorities, farmers and women had become the order of the day under the current regime. Hitting out at the BJP government for its "failure" on all fronts, the TMC chief claimed that over two crore people had lost their jobs as a fallout of the decision to scrap old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. "History is being distorted and the geography of the nation is being altered under the Modi government," she said. PTI PNT SNS RC

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