Panihati (WB): After Narendra Modi asked Mamata Banerjee to disclose the identity of the person who allegedly bought a painting of hers for Rs 1.8 crore, the Trinamool Congress chief today said she made a living selling her books.
"I manage my living by selling my books. But they have problem with that too. The money raised from the sale of my paintings is taken in cheques in favour of `Jago Bangla` (Trinamool Congress mouthpiece).
"I have organised three exhibitions of my paintings. Money from the sale of my paintings was given to the Spastic Society and CM`s relief fund," she said.
The West Bengal Chief Minister narrated that after she took office in 2011, she found there was no money in the CM`s relief fund for payment to the poor on health grounds.
"Rs 1.1 crore was given to CM`s relief fund from the sale of my paintings," she said.
Stating that she had written 45 books, she said she gave the royalty on her first book to the victims of the Kandua violence at Amta in Howrah district.
Banerjee, who was Lok Sabha member seven times before becoming chief minister, said, "I have not taken pension as yet amounting to Rs 50,000 per month in the past three years as a former MP.
"I do not take any privileges as the CM. I do not draw salary as CM or use government cars. I pay for myself and not from the government money for tea. This I used to do also while I was the Railway Minister," Banerjee said.
"Even when I am visiting districts, I pay for my own expenses," she said.
"I have no family. I used to love my mother very much who is no more. I am very fond of children. They always say the truth," she said.
Turning her attention to the chit fund scam, Banerjee reiterated her allegation that the previous Left Front government allowed ponzi companies to flourish and asked how many arrests were made.
"I want to ask the former finance minister of Bengal whether his campaign in 2011 (state assembly election) was funded by Saradha?" she asked and levelled the same accusation at the CPI(M) party mouthpiece `Gansahakti`.
Attacking a section of the media for publishing advertisements of the now bust Saradha Group, she asked, "How can they point fingers at others now?"
"I request the Opposition to counter us in policies. I am ready to answer all their questions."