Jaitley links Trinamool's Parliament disruption to Saradha arrests
As Trinamool Congress is locked in a turf war with Bharatiya Janata Party in West Bengal, Finance Minister Arun Jailtley on Saturday said that the BJP has discovered political space in the state.
Kolkata: Attacking the Trinamool Congress, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the party obstructed the Parliament sessions as a political response to the arrest of some of its leaders in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam.
Jaitley said West Bengal's ruling party was ruffled with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) unmasking its "corrupt" members.
"The Trinamool Congress is irritated. And it is not a political issue. They are irritated because their people who were corrupt... the CBI is unmasking and presenting that corruption in front of India," the Finance Minister said at a Bharatiya Janata Party programme in Howrah district's Sarat Sadan.
"They accepted and retained these corrupt members and they said 'since some of our members are trapped in the chit fund scam, we will not let parliament run, as a political response'," said Jaitley, who is also the corporate affairs minister.
The CBI, probing the Saradha scam, has arrested three Trinamool leaders - state minister Madan Mitra, Rajya Sabha member Srinjay Bose and party vice president Rajat Majumdar.
A number of other Trinamool leaders have faced grilling from the CBI and other central agencies looking into the multi-crore-rupee graft which is said to have affected 1.7 million people in Bengal.
The Trinamool, said Jaitley, hindered Parliament from running in response.
"The disruption of Parliament is clearly linked to some members of a political party getting embroiled in the chit fund scam," he said.
The Trinamool had spearheaded the opposition's protests against the central government's bid to pass the Insurance Bill and the Coal Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
Earlier in the day, Jaitley's address at the inaugural session of the Bengal Global Business Summit was loaded with subtle criticism and messages directed at the Mamata Banerjee government.
Against the backdrop of the Trinamool blocking key reform bills in parliament, Jaitley reminded Banerjee that just like her regime, the BJP also has a responsibility to deliver what it had promised to the electorate.
"Madam chief minister, you have a mandate to rule the state. And, therefore, you have the responsibility to deliver what was promised. We have a mandate to rule the country from the Centre. We have a responsibility to deliver from Delhi, what we had promised."
Regretting that many big industries, which operated from Bengal for ages, had now shipped out, Jaitley said the challenge was how to re-establish the state as an industrial centre.
He took on state Finance and Industries Minister Amit Mitra, who in his speech had highlighted that the state's growth figures were double than that nationally.
Jaitley pointed out that the share of manufacturing in the state's growth was small which affected job creation.
Jaitley said an investor would choose the state or region which gives him the best deal, "where doing business is comfortable... doing business is conducive, purposeful and profitable".
"I am sure, while Bengal today makes a very strong plea, and a very legitimate plea for investment into the state, which I am sure is coming to the state, and should come to the state, we have to bear in mind in each of these area we have to grow."
Jaitley also referred to the stillborn All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) project which has been sanctioned in the last budget.
The erstwhile Congress-led government had sanctioned the setting up of an AIIMS-like institute in the state, but the project did not see the light of the day over wrangling between the Congress and the Trinamool on its venue.
"Last year, in the union budget, we sanctioned the setting up of an AIIMS. I am sure steps are being taken now to expedite its setting up in West Bengal itself," the BJP leader said.