West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday took a jibe at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for organising a fund raising dinner.
Launching her Trinamool Congress' manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls, Banerjee mocked the AAP without naming it in an apparent reference to the recent fund-raising dinner organised in Bangalore during its leader Arvind Kejriwal's visit to the southern city. "Nowadays, people are even taking money for lunch and dinner. There are different prices for different seats. If you sit in front you pay more... maybe they had different prices for vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, different rates for plain water and coloured water," said Banerjee with a chuckle.
She also showed her amusement over "free water" promised by AAP in its manifesto. "I heard in some places there is tax on water. But here in Bengal people get it for free. I haven't heard that people will have to pay money to get water. In Bengal, water will always remain free," she said.
Banerjee yet again seemingly targeted the newly formed AAP when she wondered how some recently established parties were getting "lakhs and lakhs" of rupees. "Electoral reform is one of our topmost priorities, and state funding of elections is imperative. Even parties newly formed are getting lakhs and lakhs of rupees. I can't understand from where they are getting this money," she said.
Expressing anguish over India not adopting state funding of elections, unlike many foreign countries, Banerjee accused the parties of using money power to buy out the media and use them for their own ends. "This is not politics, parties have become hypocrites and they have no right to continue. That's why we say electoral reforms are our topmost priority," she said.
Raising the issue of black money allegedly stashed in foreign tax havens, Banerjee said, her party will endeavour to create a preventive joint mechanism with foreign countries.