Kolkata: Addressing her party’s annual Martyrs’ Day rally Tuesday, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy to “topple” her government.
This is the first time Banerjee, who has been ruling the state for the second term now, said this publicly.
Urging her party MLAs and senior leaders to stay strong and not to answer to “luring” calls from the BJP, the Bengal CM asked them to be loyal and faithful to ‘Ma Mati Manush’ (mother, soil and people) and to Bangla.
The TMC observes 21 July as the Martyrs’ Day in mark of respect for 13 Youth Congress workers, who were killed in police firing in 1993. Banerjee was then a Youth Congress leader.
‘If they (BJP) call, lure you with money, please hang up’
The CM said the BJP is killing multi-party democracy and is only indulging in horse-trading.
“Even as the country is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, the BJP is only focusing on horse-trading. By every means, they just want to rule all states. Why? They toppled the government in Madhya Pradesh, in Karnataka and they are now trying to do the same in Rajasthan. I know they are trying to do it in Bengal also. They are continuously hatching conspiracy against the elected government. If this is so, why do we even have an Election Commission, dismantle it,” she said.
Claiming that the BJP wants to impose ‘one nation and one political party’, Banerjee added that they may impose President’s Rule anytime. “But, they should always remember, an injured tigress is more dangerous than the dead,” Banerjee said.
In an emotional appeal to her party MLAs and leaders, she said: “We have fought so many battles together for the last three decades. We ousted the CPM and ended the misrule in Bengal. What is the BJP? They are a degenerated party. We will win over them unitedly. I only request you to be strong.”
She further said: “If they (BJP) call, lure you with money or threaten and intimidate you, please hang up. Do not talk to them. Tell them that you do not believe in them. They always cheat. Tell them that they cannot capture Bangla with these tricks.”
She also warned the “buddhijibis” (the Bengali intelligentsia), saying they might receive huge amounts of money in their account before elections, but they should always think of Bengal’s interest before accepting such bribes.
“Money can reach you via several people. It is not necessary that only politicians will directly offer money. There are central agencies, there are officials who may intimidate or lure you to join the BJP in garb of police uniform. Do not trust them,” she added.
To encourage her partymen, she also said, “Do not worry, I am still here. We will organise a historic rally next year after the election results.”
‘Bangla won’t be ruled by outsiders’
Taking a dig at BJP’s non-Bengali leaders, Banerjee said that Bengal will be ruled only by Bengalis and not by outsiders.
“Outsiders will never rule Bangla. Gujarat will never rule Bangla. People who live here, they have the right to do so. Nowadays, I often see new faces coming up and presenting them as politicians. I was born and brought up here. I have been seeing and doing politics in Bengal since my student days. I never knew about all these leaders,” she said.
She also claimed the BJP is only fuelling riots, tension, unrest in society and creating divisions among people.
Speaking on disbursing relief to Amphan-hit people, the CM said: “We have already released over Rs 6,500 crore funds for Amphan relief. There were some small issues regarding making of the beneficiary list. It is being corrected and all genuine beneficiaries will get money soon.
“The Centre never helped us. They always deprive Bengal. The Prime Minister only came for an hour and left. They only gave us Rs 1,000 crore, rest we are giving from our own exchequer,” she added.
On Monday, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh released a book on 93 ‘martyrs’ of BJP, who according to him, were killed in political violence perpetrated by the Trinamool Congress.
“We call it a black day. They observe martyrs day for their vested interests, it is actually a political event for them. On the contrary, they are killing our workers and increasing the number of our martyrs,” said Ghosh.
BJP’s national secretary Rahul Sinha said, “Mamata Banerjee is losing her senses in fear and that is why she is speaking incoherently.”
Congress leader Adhir Choudhury said that the rally Tuesday was done in complete violation of social distancing rules as hundreds of people gathered in booths across districts where giant screens were mounted to broadcast Banerjee’s rally.
“She observes this day every year, but the people who are accused of firing at an unarmed rally, are part of her government. This is hypocrisy,” he added.
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