Kolkata: Ridiculing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's claim that she would sell her paintings to collect funds for her Trinamool Congress' panchayat poll campaign, the CPI-M on Saturday demanded that she disclose the names of buyers and the prices they were paying.
Around 100 of Banerjee's paintings are on display at the Town Hall in Kolkata. The exhibition will continue till January 18.
"Mamata Banerjee says she won't ask for money from anybody to fund her party's panchayat poll campaign. What is the need for her to ask for it? Rampant extortion is on in the state," Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo memberSurjya Kanta Mishra said at a rally in Chandipur of East Midnapur district.
"But she says she will collect the money by selling her paintings. My question is at what rate have these paintings been sold? And will the honourable chief minister please disclose who has bought her pictures and at what price?" asked Mishra, also the leader of the opposition in the assembly.
"Is it white money or black money," he continued.
The CPI-M has been attacking Banerjee on the issue over the past couple of months.
Earlier, former state minister and party state secretariat member Gautam Deb had accused Banerjee of extorting money from industrialists in the name of selling her paintings.
"Why should people buy her drawings for such hefty prices that she would meet her party's poll expenses? Why should industrialists buy them? Is she a Vincent Van Gogh or a Leonardo da Vinci?
"She should disclose the names of the buyers. She is actually extorting money from industrialists," Deb had said.