Post BJP wins, Mamata Banerjee flashes anti-demonetisation card

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KOLKATA: Barely two days after the Uttar Pradesh election results that indicated PM Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move may have paid dividends, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee seems to have a different view. At a function to felicitate farmers and agriculturalists here on Tuesday, she said the farmers have suffered immensely due to “notebandi” and her government would try to compensate them.

She said her government would try to compensate those who died during demonetisation days. Obviously referring to the UP results, Banerjee said: “There would be victors and vanquished, but the fight for democracy would continue undeterred.”

Banerjee appears to be the first politician to speak against demonetisation. Without naming Modi, she said: “Bengal has been the cradle of all major movements and there will be no let up.”

She criticised the Centre’s decision to make Aadhar mandatory in some sectors. “The Centre has made Aadhar mandatory in 23 sectors.

I have never said we are against the move. But before implementing it, there should be 100% coverage. How can a government snatch poor people’s right this way?

Being in power does not mean bulldozing the rights of people. Centre and state should work in tandem to protect the federal structure.”

All this criticism signals a daunting fight between Trinamool Congress and BJP in the upcoming elections in the state. However, since the UP results were announced, Banerjee stayed away from calling former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.