Sashan: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday accused the Centre of turning a blind eye to the existence of Rs 16 crore in the name of two top state CPI(M) leaders in a nationalised bank account.
"Can the Centre not see? Does it have a cataract? (Or is it) great love for CPI(M)?
"If any other person had kept Rs 1 lakh at home, Income Tax and CBI would have arrested him after threats. What would have happened to you and me?" Banerjee asked at panchayat election meetings in North 24 Parganas district.
Naming the two leaders, particularly a top state CPI(M) functionary, she said: "One is a whole-timer of the party. How much does he get? Rs 5,000, Rs 10,000 or even 50,000. He does not have to pay income tax nor does he have a Pan card. From where did this Rs 16 crore come?
"I have (found out) this bank account is in the name of these two individuals and not the party," she said.
She said that her party formed in 1998 still did not have Rs 16 crore in funds.
Congress, BJP and CPI(M) were the richest political parties in India, she added.
"Our party pays income tax. We have a Pan card," she said.
"If this had not come out, no one would have known. In future we will inquire as to how many accounts like this exist," the chief minister said.
Attacking two Bengali TV news channels, including one which she claimed was pro-CPI(M), she said: "You are spreading slander against me. But why are you silent now? Why are you not demanding a CBI inquiry (into the bank accounts)?"