Mamata tears into Modi at UP rally, asks masses to fight 'notebandi' with 'votebandi'
Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for asking all BJP members of parliament to furnish details of their bank transactions after 8 November, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that he and Amit Shah should be the first to disclose their transactions.
In her rally at Lucknow, Mamata alleged that BJP leaders purchased a lot of land just before the PM declared old Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes as illegal tender.
The Akhilesh factor
Thanks to the Samajwadi Party, Mamata mostly managed to save face in Lucknow as she addressed a sparse crowd of mostly SP workers during her protest rally on 29 November.
While the Bengal CM tore into PM Modi's note ban, there were hardly a few hundred people gathered at the 1090 Crossing, not far from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's official residence at 5, Kalidas Marg.
Akhilesh, who personally received Mamata on her arrival at Amausi Airport the previous night, did not join her in the tirade against the PM but sent his core team of young leaders like ministers Arvind Singh Gope and Ravidas Mehrotra, Pawan Pandey and Anand Bhadauria to attend the event, along with a few hundred of party workers.
It was rumoured that UP CM had planned to join Mamata on the dais, but was restrained by his father, party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav. Mamata, however, called it a joint protest by the SP, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
The TMC has no presence in Uttar Pradesh. Its lone legislator Shyam Sundar Sharma had joined the Bahujan Samaj Party in June.
Telling the people that they should retaliate to 'notebandi' with 'votebandi' for the BJP, the TMC leader said that all the parties were working for the same purpose (against demonetisation) although Opposition unity was nowhere to be seen.
She said that the decision was politically motivated in view of the coming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Uttarakhand.
She said that at one stroke all the people had been made to look like thieves as if the prime minister was the only big saint in the country. "It is people's fight and we won't retreat till the decision is rolled back," the TMC chief said.