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Apologise or face action: Trinamool to Modi

Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress Monday sought an apology from BJP’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi, threatening to file a defamation suit over his questioning of Mamata Banerjee’s painting being sold for Rs.1.80 crore.

Trinamool’s national general secretary Mukul Roy said Modi’s charge against their chairperson was a “blatant lie” and shot off a letter to the Election Commission.

“Yesterday (Sunday), he claimed that one of Banerjee’s paintings was sold for Rs. 1.80 crore.

“Either he (Modi) should prove it or take his words back… we seek an unconditional apology,” Roy said.

He said it was violation of the MCC (model code of conduct), and was “tantamount to character assassination”.

“We strongly oppose it,” Roy told reporters here.

Addressing a party rally in Sreerampur in Hooghly district recently, Modi attacked the state government over the Saradha chit fund scam and raised questions about Banerjee’s painting being sold at exorbitant prices.

“You (Banerjee) are a good painter. I have heard earlier your paintings used to be sold for Rs.4 lakh, Rs.8 lakh, Rs.15 lakh…. But what is the reason behind your painting once being sold for Rs.1.80 crore,” Modi had said at the rally.

Trinamool spokesperson and state Finance Minister Amit Mitra threatened to file a defamation suit if Modi did not tender an unconditional apology publicly.

“Modi, who knows nothing about West Bengal, paratroops here and goes into very low level of personal attack. He should apologise in public or we will file a defamation suit because his charges are patently false,” said Mitra.

Reacting to the developments, state Bharatiya Janata Party president Rahul Sinha said the sale of a painting at exorbitant prices was a “well known fact and did not need to be proved”.