Kolkata, Feb 10 (IANS) Accusing Trinamool Congress ministers and leaders of extorting lakhs of rupees from people in the ruse of organising festivals like the Durga Puja, former West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said Sunday.
He said here at a rally that such actions were encouraging the anti-social element who seemed to be "running the government".
"What is happening in the localities. In the name of organising festivals like the Durga Puja, the committees in various localities are collecting lakhs of rupees. These committees are headed by ministers and (Trinamool) leaders.
"Now if ministers extort money in localities, will anti-socials suck their thumb? Lumpenisation and violence are rampant in the guise of promoting and running syndicates for supplying construction materials. This is unprecedented. It seems anti-socials are running the government," said the Communist Party of India-Marxist politburo member.
Addressing a rally, he said while anti-social activities occurred in the Left Front regime too, things had turned "really bad" now.
Targeting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had initially dubbed the Park Street rape case in February last year as "cooked up", Bhattacharjee said, without naming her, that "if the government makes such statements, police take the cue. And the anti-socials understand nobody can stop them now. They feel they have voted this government to power".
Bhattacharjee appealed to people in every neighbourhood to stand up against the "handful of rogue elements".
"Local people should unite and stand up to these anti-socials. One needs to see whose writ prevails - that of the common people or that of the anti-socials," he said.