The Trinamool Congress on Tuesday wrote to Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah for his alleged defamatory and malicious remarks against party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, PTI reported. Minister of State for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya accused Shah of trying to malign Banerjee’s image by “uttering lies” and threatened legal action against him.

At an election rally in East Midnapore earlier in the day, Shah had attacked Banerjee and her government for alleged misgovernance and corruption. Shah claimed that Banerjee’s paintings were bought by chit fund owners for crores of rupees.

“Are you all aware of Mamata Banerjee’s qualities? She is a very good painter,” Shah said at the rally. “Even if someone is a great painter, how much would his paintings cost? Rs 10,000, Rs 20,000, Rs 1 lakh or Rs 10 lakh... but her paintings were bought by chit fund owners for crores of rupees.”

Shah asked if the chit fund owners would ever be arrested by the chief minister whose paintings they had allegedly purchased.

Bhattacharya said she wanted to ask on what basis Shah had made the comments against Banerjee. “He has to either give evidence in support of his statements or apologise publicly for his comments,” she said. “If he doesn’t do it, we will take legal steps against him.”