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Yediyurappa in Mamata firing line over payout

Trinamul sources said Rs 5 lakh each would be paid to the next of kin of the 2 killed in Mangalore

  • Published 27.12.19, 1:11 AM
  • Updated 27.12.19, 1:11 AM
  • 2 mins read
Mamata leads the march in Calcutta on Thursday. Picture by Sanat Kumar Sinha

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday lambasted her Karnataka counterpart B.S. Yediyurappa for reneging on an assurance to pay ex gratia to the kin of two men allegedly killed in police firing in Mangalore and promised to send them compensation through her party’s labour arm.

In her fifth mass march in Calcutta against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens, the Trinamul Congress supremo tore into the Karnataka chief minister.

“If you ever make a promise, don’t break it. It does not suit well in a democracy. If you can’t stay true to what you have said, if you cannot remain consistent… you are a liar,” Mamata said at Raja Bazaar on Thursday afternoon before beginning her 3.6km march to Mullick Bazaar through some of the oldest Muslim neighbourhoods in the city.

She was referring to Yediyurappa going back on his promise to pay Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of Jaleel, 49 and Nausheen, 23, the two men who had died in an alleged police firing in Mangalore last week during protests against the Narendra Modi government’s citizenship thrusts. The promise was revoked after the police booked the deceased also for rioting.

“You all saw yesterday, this is a matter of great shame… Yesterday, he said those who are in the movement are all goons, they will not be helped. I am very hurt… This is a people’s movement, a movement for democracy, for protecting our rights with our lives,” Mamata said, to loud cheers from the audience.

Sources in Karnataka felt that the central leadership might have nudged Yediyurappa into revoking the decision, lest it showed the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh in poor light.

Mamata rubbed salt into the smarting wound of Yediyurappa.

“Dear leader of the BJP in Karnataka, those killed in firing there… for their families, you don’t have any money. You have said they are goons and you will not help them in any way. I will say something here… we are a poor party, but we do our best to stand by the masses all the time,” she said.

“You did not keep your promise, but I make one now, which I will keep. From our trade union wing (INTTUC), we will help the families, we will send a delegation to Karnataka,” Mamata said, having to pause for the deafening applause to stop.

The chief minister said the people of Karnataka had already seen through the Yediyurappa government — which came to power after a chain of dubitable events like defections — and it would be defeated immediately if snap polls were to be declared.

“We have decided to hand over cheques to the families of the victims. They will be handed over by an INTTUC delegation, led by Dola Sen,” said Mamata.

“We do not believe in politics of hatred like the BJP. Ours is the politics of love,” she added.

Sources in Trinamul soucrces said Rs 5 lakh each would be paid to the next of kin of the two killed in Mangalore.