The West Bengal chief minister addressed back-to-back rallies in Hooghly, Howrah and South 24 Parganas districts, where constituencies are set to go to polls on 6 April
Khanakul: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday wondered whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “god or a superhuman” to have made claims of a BJP triumph in the Assembly elections, six phases of which still remain.
The TMC boss, without naming the Indian Secular Front (ISF) or its founder Abbas Siddiqui, said the BJP is giving money “to a person” to eat into minority votes.
“What do you (Modi) think of yourself, are you god or superhuman?” Banerjee said, referring to remarks by the PM at public meetings that he will attend the oath-taking ceremony of the BJP government in Bengal and request it to implement the PM-Kisan Nidhi scheme as early as possible.
She claimed that the prime minister breached the model code of conduct by “asking officers of the state government to be ready to attend the oath-taking ceremony.”
Addressing back-to-back rallies in Hooghly, Howrah and South 24 Parganas districts — where Assembly constituencies are set to go to polls on 6 April — Banerjee further said, “We will not invite you (Modi) for the swearing-in.”
Gujaratis are trying to capture Bengal by bringing goons from UP and Bihar. We will not allow Bengal to become like Gujarat. BJP tries to create communal disturbance: West Bengal CM & TMC chief Mamata Banerjee in Howrah pic.twitter.com/nd8TfiYaS3
— ANI (@ANI) April 4, 2021
The TMC supremo alleged that Modi’s recent visit to Bangladesh to commemorate its first prime minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birth centenary had led to “rioting” in the neighbouring country.
In a veiled reference to Siddiqui, whose ISF is fighting the elections in alliance with the CPM and the Congress, the TMC boss said, “There is a new person on the block who is trying to divide minority votes in the state, and he is getting money from the BJP for this. He keeps making communal statements but that won’t take him far.”
Hitting out at Home Minister Amit Shah, she claimed that the Election Commission was transferring police officers in the state at the behest of the top BJP leader.
Contending that all BJP leaders, including chief ministers and central ministers, are camping in Bengal to help the party win elections, she described them as “Duryodhana, Dushyashana and Ravana”(antagonists in the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana).
“One must remember that even the British could not break the people of Bengal through its divide and rule policy,” she said, asserting that the BJP will also not be able to pursue its “divisive politics”.
Alleging that “some particular police officers are being brought in to make sure that election results go in favour of the BJP”, she said votes are cast by people and not the security personnel.
The chief minister also pulled up her party’s polling agents, who apparently refused to stay put at the booths in Nandigram during the second phase of polls, and urged them not to get “sold off”, while also warning them that she would keep a tab on erring officials.
Responding to opposition criticisms over her decision to stick around for more than an hour at a polling station in Nandigram, where she has crossed swords with her former protege and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, the TMC chief said,
“I visited a booth in accordance with the rules.” Maintaining that she would not “tolerate sentimental pleas by anyone in my party that the BJP is threatening them” she said, “I will appoint women activists instead, they will display more courage.”
Accusing the BJP government at the Centre of not doing anything worthwhile in the last six years, other than adopting anti-people measures and causing hardships to many, the TMC supremo said, “We give rice free of cost, but to cook food one has to buy an LPG cylinder for Rs 900.”
Terming the BJP’s lotus symbol as “a rotten flower”, Banerjee said that the saffron party is trying to divide Bengal on communal lines for garnering votes.
Affirming that she “plays a game” (khela) when anyone tries to browbeat her, the TMC supremo asked people to join her if they wish to continue availing the benefits of several welfare schemes launched by her government.
Banerjee also said that BJP workers were trying to intimidate her party’s supporters.
“There is no reason to be afraid. I am a Royal Bengal Tiger sitting here to protect you (supporters). I am there to ensure people’s security,” she stated.
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