Mamata Banerjee insists none in TMC has taken chit fund money

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Kolkata, Nov 5: Reaffirming that none in the Trinamool Congress has received money from any chit fund, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday again targeted the media for trying to portray them as thieves and said that a section in media had glorified chit fund companies by publishing their advertisements.

The chief minister demanded a probe, saying she has documents to prove that a section of the media glorified and carried their advertisements.

"Newspapers here tried to dub our party men as thieves although no chit fund money was taken by us. Can one become a thief only by merely calling him a thief? You (a section of the media houses) have taken advantage. I have no grudge against you, but do not tell lies. I have documents to prove. It is nothing but an insult to the people of Bengal," Banerjee said.

She alleged that a section of the media was constantly engaging in smear campaign against the party, saying the media section think they have become God. "Earlier journalists would risk their lives to show the truth," she said adding "I am answerable only to the people".

"A few parties are using money power. Small parties like ours who do not have money, how will we survive? she said adding that this was why TMC always demanded electoral reforms. Referring to black money, Banerjee without naming BJP wondered "how the party which spends crores of rupees during election campaign will be able to curb black money".

"Why did the Government of India allow chit funds to operate and not declare them illegal? Chit funds were operating in Bengal since the 80's when the Left Front was in power," she said.

"Why did the Centre issue media licenses to the chit funds? she said. Banerjee's comment came at a time when the central agencies CBI and ED have already questioned some partymen including a state minister in connection with the Saradah chit fund scam. Banerjee alleged that the BJP with the help of CPI-M was trying to "instill communal feeling" among the people in Bengal.

"Do not fall prey to the tactics of those who want to incite riots. Fire of riots will destroy everything," she said.

PTI

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