Barbs were today traded between Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee over the Saradha scam in West Bengal which defrauded lakhs, with the Congress vice-president accusing her government of inaction and the Chief Minister targeting P Chidamabaram. "The government here has not done anything for two years. 20 lakh people have been affected (by the scam)," Gandhi told an election meeting here in Malda district.
SEBI and Enforcement Directorate told them to take action, but the Mamata Banerjee government, which says it is a government of the poor, is not taking any action. On the other hand, they are trying to save them," he said.
"Bada bada bhashan hota hain magar garibo ka kaam nahi hota hai (Big lectures are given, but no work is done for the poor)," Gandhi alleged.
At a separate election meeting in the same district, the Chief Minister said, "These money making companies had surfaced and thrived during the Left Front regime. What was SEBI doing then?" "Now there are clamours for a CBI probe. You can ask the CBI to investigate. Is this because I keep on protesting every time?" she said.
Targeting Union Finance minister P Chidambaram, she alleged that he had ruined the country. "The Congress Finance minister has ruined the country.
Tell him not to conspire. He is not fighting the polls this time for fear of losing," she said.
Stating that the Trinamool government stood for transparency, accountability, and integrity, she pointed out that Saradha Group chairman Sudipta Sen was arrested and a TMC MP Kunal Ghosh had been sent to jail. Banerjee said, "If I am found guilty, then arrest me and send me to jail."
Reiterating her criticism of a media house in the state without naming it, she said, "What cheek do they have to talk when their newspapers and programmes were supported by advertisements of these companies."
Banerjee also claimed that her government's efforts to take action against these companies were negated by the Centre. "In the last three years, we passed a Bill in the Assembly to rein in these companies. But the Bill was returned twice by the Centre. What do they have to say now?" Banerjee asked.