Kolkata: Trinamool Congress on Wednesday demanded apology from the former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for questioning Mamata Banerjee's honesty. "What he has said is unfair. The people of the state and his constituency (Jadavpore) have rejected Bhattacharjee. We demand that he express regret and apologise for the statement which involves a person (Mamata) who has made selfless sacrifice for the service of the people throughout her life," Trinamool Congress leader and Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim told reporters at the party headquarter in Kolkata.
Taking strong exception to Bhattacharjee's comment during an interview to a Bengali TV channel last night, Hakim said, "Her (Mamata's) honesty is beyond question all over India and people of West Bengal largely rely on her honesty and gave her the responsibility to serve the people." Bhattacharjee had said on Tuesday he "did not agree" with the popular perception that his successor Mamata Banerjee was honest.
"I don't agree with the perception that she is honest," Bhattacharjee had told the Bengali news channel. Asked if the TMC would move court, Hakim replied, "We leave it to the people. Trinamool Congress is a transparent party...The communists are used to making such statements amounting to personal slander only to regret later."
"It is Bhattacharjee who once resigned from the Jyoti Basu cabinet as minister dubbing the government as one of thieves but rejoined it later. This is the culture of the communists," the Trinamool leader said. Referring to Bhattacharjee giving the present regime zero in performance, he said, "One who himself is zero, how can he give zero to others?"
Hakim alleged that Bhattacharjee had conspired in the Tapasi Malik murder case, Nandigram and the Netai killings and had harboured "harmards" like Tapan and Sukur Ali as "CPI(M) assets". He alleged Bhattacharjee's regime was marked by non-development where 55,000 industries had closed down. "Such a statement is totally uncalled for at a time when the state is undergoing a spate of development projects under Mamata Banerjee's leadership," he said.