Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making fun of the "problems faced by the masses" following demonetisation, saying that unless he felt their pain, people would not forgive him.
In a series of tweets in Hindi and English, Banerjee seemingly refered to Modi's video conference address before the Coldplay concert in Mumbai on Saturday, where he had quoted from one of Bob Dylan's most famous songs and cracked a joke apparently alluding to the effects of his government's recent decision to ban Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes.
"Don't think people's sufferings are mere fun. Why should your policies make people suffer? They should have instead benefited them," Banerjee said on her Twitter handle. "Economy of every state, entire country is in tatters. People are in distress, and your are in a celebaroty mood," she said in another tweet. Banerjee advised Modi to listen to the people's voice. "Listen to the voice of the people . Feel their pain. People will not forgive you for this. They are suffering," she said.
In an obvious reference to Modi attacking her on the chit fund issue on Sunday, Banerjee said the prime minister was dubbing as corrupt anybody who opposed him. "Pradhan Mantri ji, you are equating corruption with anyone who opposes your policy. Are you the only magician?"
In his address in Mumdai, Modi had joked: "You've been smart in asking me to only address (the) gathering and not sing, or else I'm sure you'd be asking (for your) money back, that too in Rs 100 (notes)," in an obvious reference to the demonetisation initiative.
In another veiled reference to the country's situation, Modi quoted Dylan's song "The times they are a changing". Targeting Banerjee, who has been in the forefront of the anti-demonetisation protets, Modi on Sunday raised the chit fund scam issue in Bengal.
"Millions of people invested their hard earned money in this chit funds and under the blessings of politicians, all this hard-earned money disappeared in the scam. Many people lost their lives. And today, these people are levelling charges against me," he said. The Central Bureau of Investigation, probing the Saradha chit fund scandal, has arrested and quizzed several leaders of Banerjee's Trinamool Congress.