After questioning the honesty of his successor Mamata Banerjee, former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today alleged that Trinamool Congress ministers and MLAs were extorting money from people as contribution to festivals and Puja committees.
"In every locality of the city they have formed several Durga Puja committees. And these committees have amassed lakhs and crores of rupees. These committees are headed by either a minister or a MLA (of the TMC). And these committees are collecting money from the locals. Is it not extortion?" he wondered in a mammoth rally here.
Bhattacharjee's allegation followed his recent honesty jibe at Mamata in an interview to a Bengali TV channel, in which he had said that he did not "agree with the perception that she is honest", prompting the TMC to serve a legal notice to the former chief minister.
"Bengal had never witnessed such audacious level of extortion. When we were in power we had never done such things. Goons and anti-socials are being pampered by this government," he said.
"During our tenure also there were goons and anti-socials, but we had controlled them with an iron fist so that they cannot create any problem. But this government is acting soft on them," Bhattacharjee asserted.
He also accused the TMC regime of failing to provide proper safety to women of the state and of trying to foment communal tension in the state.
"What is this government doing in the name of Imam- allowance? What is the government trying to do? Such kinds of activity instigate communal tension in the state," he observed.