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Jaitley shoots ‘Kleptocrat Club’ barb at leaders backing Mamata

Jaitley said Opposition leaders rallying behind Bengal's chief minister aspire to capture the country

  • Published 6.02.19, 3:26 AM
  • Updated 6.02.19, 9:31 AM
  • 2 mins read
Arun Jaitley on Tuesday accused Mamata Banerjee of “assaulting federalism”. Prem Singh

Arun Jaitley on Tuesday accused Mamata Banerjee of “assaulting federalism” and claimed that the real motive of her “disproportionate reaction” to the CBI action in Bengal was to project herself as the “nucleus of India’s opposition”.

Minister without portfolio Jaitley, convalescing in New York, posted on Facebook that the Opposition leaders rallying behind the Bengal chief minister were a “Kleptocrat’s Club” and aspired to capture the reins of the country.

Jaitley’s post came on a day the BJP referred to the Supreme Court ruling on the CBI’s plea against the Bengal government obstructing its questioning of Calcutta police commissioner Rajeev Kumar to slam Mamata and said such action was only helping the party spread its wings in Bengal.

“What is the strategy behind the chief minister’s disgraceful and disproportionate reaction? What is her strategy in inviting all other leaders belonging to every opposition to join her on the Dharna?” Jaitley asked. “She did it to defocus from other opposition aspirants for the highest office and to project herself as the nucleus of India’s opposition,” he added.

The BJP is seen to be deliberately projecting regional powerhouses like Mamata and Mayawati as aspirants for the Prime Minister’s post, under the impression that such a picture of “chaos” would drive away voters.

Apart from “chaos”, the BJP is also seeking to underline that most Opposition leaders who are joining hands to defeat the party are corruption tainted, hoping that this would prompt voters to rally behind Narendra Modi.

“But more importantly those who have lent support to the West Bengal Dharna are those who are battling serious allegations of economic improprieties, criminal misconduct and even corruption. Can ‘New India’ be ever run by this Kleptocrat’s Club?” Jaitley wrote.

Responding to a question on Jaitley’s 700-plus-word post, Mamata said in Calcutta: “We wish him a prompt recovery. We are deeply concerned about his health.”

While Jaitley took on Mamata from New York, the BJP fielded textiles minister Smriti Irani in Delhi to highlight the Supreme Court ruling, terming it as an “egg” on the Trinamul leader’s face. Smriti claimed that the top court had brought Mamata’s “histrionics to a screeching halt” and stressed that it was a dichotomy that the chief minister was terming it a “moral victory”.

“With egg on her face, to celebrate it as a moral victory is a dichotomy available only to Mamata Banerjee’s realm of politics,” Smriti said. Replying to a question, she claimed that the Mamata government’s alleged attempts not to allow BJP leaders to hold rallies in Bengal were increasing the party’s support among the people. 

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