Kolkata: As she announced her Christmas gift for St Xavier’s College Kolkata, which will become a university soon, West Bengal Chief Minister attacked the central government’s notes ban in the same breath today. Although the chief minister apologised for criticising demonetisation during the festive period, she also compared the Income Tax department to popular villain ‘Gabbar Singh’ from the hit Bollywood film Sholay.
“During Christmas people shop a lot. People visit from other places. There are so many fairs. People buy a lot of cakes during this season. Today people are not even buying cakes. I am unhappy with this. Whatever you may say, I am neither artificial nor articulate. I am practical. Whatever I hear from people, I express. I am sorry for saying this now. I am not saying it on my own but people are making me say it,” Ms Banerjee said.
“Lot of people have lost their livelihood. They cannot celebrate. They are sacred now. They only fear that Income Tax officials may turn up. Suddenly, Gabbar Singh may turn up. This is the state of the country,” she added.
Not letting go of the opportunity to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ms Banerjee took a snipe at him for ‘making people suffer during Christmas’.
“There are some irresponsible political leaders amongst us. Sometimes we do things for which the entire country has to suffer. I should rectify my mistakes. Otherwise people will not forgive politicians. People repose their trust in us. If those credentials are lost, everything is lost. Even in this time of suffering we have to celebrate festivals,” she said.
Ms Banerjee announced a grant of Rs. 7 crore annually for the new university after praising the work of the college for building future citizens. She also announced the land allotment for a new college by the same name at Asansol.
Father Felix Raj, Principal of St Xavier’s College, thanked the chief minister for her gesture and said, “St Xavier’s University Kolkata (2016) Bill has been unanimously passed in the Assembly. We have about 8600 students and by 2020 we should be able to educate 16,000 students.”