Buddhadeb 'predicts' Trinamool-BJP alliance

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee

Senior CPM leader and former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Sunday said that the Trinamool Congress and BJP may soon join hands in the days ahead. Speaking at a huge party rally held in Kolkata, he said the ground is being readied for the coming together of the two parties and an atmosphere of communal tension is being built.

"From the speeches of BJP leaders we understand that the BJP is willing to enter into an alliance with the Trinamool Congress. The ground is being readied by this government," Bhattacharjee said and slammed the government's decision to give allowance to imams. "During our regime, too, the temples, masjids functioned smoothly, but we did not give any allowance to imams and priests," he said and added the granting of allowances to imams could create communal tension in the state. "Why the governments has to allocate money for them (imams), when lakhs of young Muslims are not getting jobs," he added.

The former chief minister also accused Trinamool Congress ministers and MLAs of 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 Trinamool Congress). And these committees are collecting money from the locals. Is it not extortion?" he asked.

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 slamming the government on law and order front. "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.

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