Trinamool Has Destroyed Bengal, Says Arun Jaitley

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Kolkata: Calling the Mamata Banerjee government’s policies a “mirror image” of the erstwhile Left Front which “destroyed West Bengal”, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the biggest disappointment has been the Trinamool Congress’s vulnerability to corruption.

On a campaign trail in the state for the assembly polls, the BJP leader said one could find a scandal in every transaction by the Trinamool Congress.

“It’s not just the chit fund scam or some sting operation or a flyover collapse, you lift one transaction, and you will find a scandal in it,” said Mr Jaitley, referring to the controversies surrounding the Trinamool Congress including the multi-crore-rupee Saradha scam and the recent sting operation in which many Trinamool leaders were purportedly caught taking bribes.

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“The biggest disappointment has been the vulnerability of the Trinamool to corruption. Scandals have been emerging one after the other, but these are not isolated incidents. That one or two of the leaders committed mistakes, it’s a pattern. All the cases display a pattern,” Mr Jaitley told mediapersons.

“Their leadership is getting tainted in scandals one after the other,” he said.

Castigating the Communist Party of India-Marxist spearheaded Left Front, Mr Jaitley described as a “nightmare” their 34 years of rule in the state which came to end in 2011, when Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress came to power.

“Instead of giving alternative policies and alternative political culture, the Trinamool followed the Left’s mirror image policies. Coupled with that are the syndicates, law and order collapse, vindictiveness, and widespread corruption.

“If the Left destroyed Bengal, the Trinamool Congress belied the people’s expectations.

“If the Left (rule) was a nightmarish experience, the Trinamool Congress certainly has been a disillusionment,” he said.

He also ridiculed the Trinamool Congress for ordering an internal probe into the sting operation.

“Taking bribe is not an act of party indiscipline that they are conducting an internal probe. Through an internal inquiry, you can expel somebody from the party. But how can an internal inquiry deal with the penal consequences of bribery? It’s a crime which needs to be investigated by police or the CBI,” he said.

He also rubbished Trinamool leader and minister Chandrima Bhattacharya’s bid to give a “donation” angle to the bribery scandal.

“Donations to a party are subjected to certain law and regulations which needs to be followed. The donor’s name has to be given if the amount is in excess of Rs.20,000. The details need to filed with the Election Commission, have they done that? Let them do that first,” he said.

Observing that Bengal politics was at a crossroads, Mr Jaitley exuded confidence in the BJP emerging as a big player in the assembly polls and assured it will work for development as the Centre has been doing.