Kolkata: Responding to an attack by BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and the Left who have asked her to disclose who brought her painting for Rs 1.80 crore, Mamata Banerjee Tuesday claimed she makes a living by selling her books and does not take any privileges as West Bengal chief minister.
West Bengal chief minister Mamta Banerjee. File pic
"I manage my living my selling my books. But the opposition has a problem with that too," Banerjee said in election rallies in North 24 Parganas district.
She said she since has struggled a lot, she chronicled her experiences for posterity to benefit from it and recalled that the royalty of her first book was given to the victims of violence in Amta.
"I do not take any privileges as the chief minister. I do not draw salary as chief minister or use government cars. Even when I am visiting districts, I pay for my own expenses," she said.
Refering to the sale of her paintings, Banerjee said the money collected was handed over to the spastic society and the chief minister's relief fund.
"The money raised from the sale of my paintings is taken in the form of cheques in favour of 'Jago Bangla' (the Trinamool mouthpiece)," she said.
Asking the opposition to counter her on policies, Banerjee said: "I am ready to answer all their questions".
She said the Communist Party of India-Marxist mouthpiece Ganashakri was "full of advertisements" given by the chit fund aided Saradha Group. "They have taken money from chit funds."
"Before raising the bogey of chit funds, the Left should answer who was in power when chit funds were founded in Bengal," she said.
Accusing several media houses of taking money from Saradha to publish ads, Banerjee said: "How can they point fingers at others now?"
Attacking Modi, also the Gujarat chief minister, she said some parties were inciting violence between communities.
Banerjee said after the recent riots in Assam, several thousand people have crossed over to Bengal and taken shelter.
"We have given them shelter. UP, Bihari, Rajasthani, Marwari - everyone living in this state is a Bengali. How many Bengali MLAs does Gujarat have? We have MLAs and MPs from different regions," she asserted.