West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prove his allegations that Trinamool Congress candidates were involved with the coal mafia or do 100 sit-ups.
“Modi alleged that Trinamool candidates have links with the coal mafia,” she said at a rally in Bankura. “I am throwing him a challenge. I have 42 candidates in WB. Let him prove even one of them have links to the coal mafia, I will withdraw all candidates. If you [Modi] are lying, you have to hold your ears and do a hundred sit-ups before public.”
Modi had claimed earlier in the day at Bankura that successive governments in the state had established mafia raj in Purulia. “In fact, the Trinamool government has made mafias a part of its activities,” Hindustan Times quoted Modi as saying. “Didi [Banerjee] first ruined Bengal with her addiction for power. Now she is ruining it further in the fear of losing power. She cares only for her chair, her family, her nephew, the extortionists and no one else.The TMC has made mafias part of the government.”
Banerjee responded to Modi’s claims saying the Coal Ministry, which controls the mines, functioned under the Centre and the mines were guarded by the Central Industrial Security Force. “People belonging to the BJP are involved in the illegal business of coal,” she said.
Banerjee also claimed she possessed a pen drive that has information about a Union minister and a BJP MP “dealing in cattle smuggling”.
Banerjee also said her remark against Modi on Tuesday was misconstrued. “I have never told you [Modi] that I shall slap you,” Banerjee said. “Why should I slap you? I have said slap of democracy, please try to understand the language. People will defeat you in the elections. That is the slap of democracy.”