"Trinamool Has A Syndicate Morcha": Nirmala Sitharaman

The defence minister did not name anyone but she was apparently referring to the wife of TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee who is the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and considered number 2 in the party.

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'Trinamool Has A Syndicate Morcha': Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman described Mamata Banerjee as anti-poor. (File)


Jhargram, West Bengal: 

Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday hit out at the ruling Trinamool Congress claiming that its call for ''parivartan'' has brought a change to the fortune of only one family, a member of which was intercepted while bringing gold. She also alleged the party, headed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has a "syndicate morcha". 

The defence minister did not name anyone but she was apparently referring to the wife of TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee who is the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and considered number 2 in the party.

"The call for parivartan has brought a change in one family only. Now a member of this family is bringing gold," Ms Sitharaman claimed while addressing a BJP rally in Jhargram district.

Mamata Banerjee, also the TMC chief, had given a call for ''parivartan'' (change) before the 2011 assembly election in the state after which she came to power ousting the 34-year-old Left Front government.

A controversy had broken out last month when Rujira Naroola, wife of Abhishek Banerjee, allegedly obstructed Customs officers from checking her baggage at the Kolkata airport on her arrival from Bangkok on March 16.

It was reported in a section of the media that 2 kg gold was found in her baggage when she landed in the city from Bangkok. Abhishek, however, denied it. Both Naroola and the Customs authorities have lodged complaints with the police in this regard.

"Our party BJP has a youth wing. It's called the Yuva Morcha. But the TMC has no such thing. It has a syndicate morcha," Ms Sitharaman alleged.

In West Bengal, ''syndicate'' means the business run by persons allegedly enjoying political patronage, who force promoters and contractors to buy construction materials, often of inferior quality at high prices.

"Narendra Modi government is required for a second time to stop the operations of the syndicate morcha," she said the rally at Gopiballabhpur under Jhargram Lok Sabha seat.

Describing Mamata Banerjee as anti-poor, the union minister said she did not allow the central government's Ayushman Bharat scheme which promises an annual health cover of Rs 5 lakh per family. 

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