West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee today accused the BJP of “trying to browbeat” her party by “using the CBI and the ED” as it had dared to speak up against the saffron party. “They (BJP) are trying to scare everybody. They are threatening me with CBI and ED as we are speaking in favour of the people and against their policies,” she told a meeting in South Dinajpur district.
“They can arrest all our leaders including me, but that would not deter us from speaking against them,” Banerjee said in a reference to the CBI filing charges against 12 TMC ministers and leaders in the Narada sting operation case.
BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya told a meeting in Burdwan yesterday that Banerjee should remove the ministers against whom the CBI had lodged FIRs in the Narada case. In a reference to the recent visit of BJP president Amit Shah to the state, Banerjee said, “They are trying to teach us the culture and ethics of Bengal.”
Slamming the BJP on the Hindutva issue, she said, “They are not the sole flag-bearer of Hindutva. Who are they to teach us about religion?
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Asking the people of the state to remain cautious against “BJP’s communalism”, the TMC chief said, “Hinduism does not teach us to hate others. Instead, it teaches us to love and respect all. I am a Hindu. I love and respect all religions. We will not tolerate a communal flare-up in the name of religion.” She announced that her government would construct 1,000 Hindu cremation grounds in the state in the next five years.
Talking about her government’s work in the last six years, Banerjee said, “Development can only take place through planning and not through riots.”
The chief minister laid the foundation stones for a number of projects, including a waiting room for pregnant women, model schools, a power sub-station, anganwadi centres, government buildings, godowns, waste management and water supply projects.