- Mamata Banerjee said BJP is trying to bring in an alien culture in Bengal
- No one has right to malign party workers without evidence: Ms Banerjee
- Bengal has been protesting against party workers taking "cut money"
Making her stand clear on the cut money issue, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Wednesday asserted that there is nothing wrong if she tries to discipline her party workers, but no one has the right to malign them without evidence.
"Whatever I had to say, I had said it at an internal meeting of party councillors. What is wrong if I try to discipline my party workers? What is wrong if I ask my party workers to ensure that there is no misuse of government schemes?" Ms Banerjee said in the state assembly.
Protests and demonstrations have rocked various parts of the state for the past one week over people demanding that "cut money" allegedly taken by elected representatives of the ruling Trinamool from beneficiaries of government schemes be returned.
"Just because we are a party of the masses doesn't mean anyone has the right to malign us without any evidence," the chief minister said.
Criticising the BJP, Ms Banerjee said the party is trying to bring in an alien culture in Bengal.
"The people of the state are witnessing in Bhatpara what happens if you vote for the BJP. I feel all of us (TMC, Congress and CPM) should come together in the fight against the BJP. It doesn't mean we have to join hands politically, but on common issues at the national level, we can come together," she said.
A TMC citadel for long, Bhatpara has been witnessing frequent post-poll violence between the rival Bharatiya Janata Party and the Trinamool Congress.
The fight has intensified ever since Arjun Singh crossed over from the TMC to the BJP and won the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat, under which Bhatpara falls.
"Those who will spread fake news and try to instigate riots, the administration will take stern action against them," the Chief Minister added.
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