Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar
Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress launched a fierce counterattack on Narendra Modi on Monday and demanded that he either prove that Mamata Banerjee`s painting was sold for Rs 1.8 crore or apologise in public for defaming the TMC chief, failing which they will file a defamation suit against him.
Addressing a press conference, Mamata`s close aide and senior party leader Mukul Roy dubbed Modi as an arrogant man who has now resorted to personal attacks.
“Mr Modi alleged Didi sold painting of her for Rs 1.8 crore and took the money. He should prove it or face defamation,” Roy said, adding that the BJP leader seems to have run out of political options.
A livid Roy added: “We are surprised to see Modi`s arrogance; he is a symbol of authoritarianism.”
Yesterday, TMC spokesperson Derek O`brien had said, “The butcher of Gujarat air dropped into Bengal, he has no answer for the Bengal model of development...”
Continuing with the same vitriolic line of attack on Modi, party leader Somen Mitra claimed that Modi has blood of many on his hands.
On the sale of paintings made by Mamata, the TMC leaders said that all the proceeds from the sale of their party chief`s paintings go into the party fund.
The TMC has reasons to be rattled over the paintings issue as Sudipto Sen of the infamous Saradha Chit Fund scam is said to have had bought many of Mamata`s paintings in 2011.
“...you can`t find fault with the `artist` as to which `Jack or Jill` has bought a painting,” O`Brien said, today, while talking to a news channel.
The TMC leaders also used the opportunity to target Modi over certain decisions made during the NDA government.
“Where was Modi when UTI scam took place under NDA rule? Where is the money? Has Modi disclosed from where he got the money for all his advertisements?,” Roy said.
“Mr Modi has to answer for the case of Balco. It had Rs 6000 crore in its books but was sold for Rs 500 cr, that extra money is being used for elections, we need an answer on that ,” Mitra said.
“Mamata Banerjee doesn`t take salary as CM (of West Bengal) or use an official vehicle,” Mitra added.
The Trinamool Congress also said that they have complained to the Election Commission against Modi on remarks questioning sale of Mamata`s paintings.
“The truth is that there is no truth in what the butcher of Gujarat has said. He has got blood of innocent children, this is devise politics, we don’t like it and India doesn’t like it,” O`Brien said, while also challenging Modi to an open debate on Gujarat model of development vs the Bengal model.