Denying the allegations, Singh said, “Mamata Banerjee should complain against me to the Election Commission. If she [Panja] can prove her allegations, I will be punished. But if she is proven wrong, she should face the consequences.”

Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and state Minister of Women and Child Development Sashi Panja on Saturday accused BJP MP Arjun Singh of declaring full information to the Election Commission in his nomination papers to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Singh did not even write his wife’s name in the declaration submitted to the poll body, she added.

Denying the allegations, Singh said, “Mamata Banerjee should complain against me to the Election Commission. If she [Panja] can prove her allegations, I will be punished. But if she is proven wrong, she should face the consequences.”

Last week, the BJP leader had claimed that TMC MPs, including Saugata Roy, were set to resign from the ruling party and join the BJP. Roy responded saying he would never join the saffron party in his lifetime.

Referring to those allegations, Panja said on Saturday, “That is fake news circulated by Arjun Singh. He tried to humiliate a senior leader like Saugata Roy.”

But Singh again reiterated his claim. “Saugata will come. Now he is a bit shy. He will come to our party very soon,” he said.

Panja claimed the BJP was losing its allies and getting itself “new allies” in central investigation agencies to browbeat political opponents.

“The BJP is losing allies, with Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal having left and JD(U) also likely to leave the NDA. It has got new allies in CBI, ED and Income Tax Department,” the minister added.

Panja told reporters that the Mamata Banerjee government had so far spent Rs 4,000 crore for Covid management despite not receiving any assistance from the Centre. Despite starting from scratch, the state government expeditiously built the infrastructure required to tackle the pandemic, she added.

“WIth no assistance from the Centre, the Mamata Banerjee government has spent Rs 4,000 crore to tackle the Covid pandemic in the state, with Rs 1,200 crore spent before June and the rest Rs 2800 crore after that,” the minister told the media at the TMC headquarters here.

She said West Bengal faced the double disaster of the pandemic and cyclone Amphan “in which the losses amounted to Rs 1.02 lakh crore”.

“The West Bengal government has spent Rs 6,500 crore in providing relief and rebuilding of infrastructure affected by the super cyclone,” the minister added.

Claiming that the Centre did not provide any relief to the state, Panja said the NDA government in Delhi denied the state government its legitimate dues.

(With PTI inputs)

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