Karat for TN-like EC steps in Bengal against black money

The CPI-M requested the Election Commission to take measures in checking flow of black money in the ongoing West Bengal Assembly elections, saying there was already evidence of use of illegal money in the state.

Last Updated: Apr 21, 2011, 18:26 PM IST

Kolkata: The CPI-M on Thursday requested the
Election Commission to take measures in checking flow of black
money in the ongoing West Bengal Assembly elections, saying
there was already evidence of use of illegal money in the
state.

"I request the Election Commission to institute
measures in West Bengal (to check the flow of black money).

Let it set up check posts on all roads and hand over to the
Income Tax department any unaccounted money that may be
seized," CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat told a press
conference here.

He said the EC`s initiatives in recovering illegal
money in Tamil Nadu had yielded Rs 50 crore in cash and
another Rs 20 crore in materials.

"Money has no boundaries. There is already evidence of
(the use of illegal money) in West Bengal. The EC should also
take steps to pre-empt black money in the state as it did in
Tamil Nadu," Karat said.

Referring to Congress president Sonia Gandhi`s comment
during a recent election rally in North Bengal that the
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government had failed to spend Central
funds given to it, he said such statements undermined
federalism.

"I would ask, is the Centre giving the money out of
charity? In a federal system, the states have the right to
share the taxes and revenues raised by the Centre. The Centre
is bound by the Constitution to devolve portions of such taxes
and revenues to the states," he said.

Pointing out that at present, the Centre shared 32 per
cent of the revenue that it raised from West Bengal, Karat
said the state government wanted a 50 per cent share. "How
the state government will spend the revenue is the business of
the state government." Karat said the Trinamool Congress would have to give
some `serious explanation` on a Wikileak document which quotes
the US consul general here as advising her government to
cultivate the party and its supremo Mamata Banerjee who it
describes as the likely chief minister of West Bengal.

He said that the document, which appeared in a daily
today, also quotes the consul-general as saying that since the
2009 Lok Sabha elections, Trinamool Congress was not taking an
anti-US stand publicly and was privately reaching out to US
consulate officials here.

"This is the party which is calling for a change in
the state. The Trinamool will have to do some serious
explanation," he said.

PTI