The defeat of BJP in the 2021 assembly election in West Bengal, where it has emerged as the main opposition, will be a "mighty blow to the arrogance and misrule of the BJP at the Centre", she said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday hit out at the BJP calling it the “curse to the nation” and a “garbage of lies” and dared the saffron party to arrest her asserting she will ensure TMC victory in the state elections even from the jail. The TMC supremo exuded confidence that the party will return to power in the state for the third consecutive time with a bigger mandate than in the present term. The defeat of BJP in the 2021 assembly election in West Bengal, where it has emerged as the main opposition, will be a “mighty blow to the arrogance and misrule of the BJP at the Centre”, she said.
Banerjee accused BJP of trying to poach TMC MLAs by attempting to bribe them. Without naming anyone, she said some people are sitting on the fence under the illusion that the saffron party might come to power in the state. “The BJP is not a political party but a garbage of lies. The BJP is a curse to the nation. Whenever election knocks at the door, it brings up the issues of Narada (sting operation) and Saradha (scam) to intimidate TMC leaders.
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“But let me tell very clearly that I am not afraid of the BJP or its agencies. If they have the guts, they can arrest me and put me behind bars. I will fight elections from the jail and ensure TMC’s victory,” Banerjee said in her first major public rally here post-COVID. Accusing BJP for allegedly attempting to poach TMC leaders, she said “They have thousands of crores of rupees now.
Earlier, they couldn’t even have a proper meal. Now they are calling TMC workers and saying ‘I will pay you two crores come over’ “. Continuing her attack, Banerjee said, “Few people are under the illusion that they (BJP) will come to power, so they are trying to take a chance. But I want to say there is neither any chance nor by chance for BJP to come to power. We will again return to power with a bigger mandate.” Referring to the recently-concluded Bihar assembly election, Banerjee said RJD chief Lalu Prasad had been put behind bars but still he ensured his party’s good performance.
“The victory of BJP (in Bihar) is through manipulation and not through popular mandate. It is not a victory, it is a defeat,” she said. She iterated that Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent visit to a tribal household on November 5 here for lunch was a “show off” and the food items served to the BJP leader were cooked at five-star hotels. “Food items like basmati rice, postor bora (poppy seed fritters) cooked in five-star hotels were taken to the dalit household. One brahmin was also brought in from outside,” the chief minister contended.
Shah during his visit to Bengal earlier in the month had visited a tribal household in Bankura and a Matua home in Kolkata. Banerjee told the meeting, “Earlier the CPI(M)had unleashed a reign of terror in Bankura. Several people were killed and were rendered homeless by CPI(M) goons. People didn’t dare to come out of their homes then. Has Bankura forgotten everything?” “Bankura is at peace now. The guns of Maoists have fallen silent. CPI(M) goons have switched over to the BJP. Only the colour has changed,” she said.
“CPI(M) is a party of the lobhi (greedy), BJP is a party of “bhogi” (one who enjoys) and TMC is a party of the “tyagi” (who renounces). Now both the CPI(M) and the BJP have joined hands in Bengal,” she claimed and expressed confidence that it will win all assembly seats in the district. Bankura, a tribal and backward community dominated district, is one of the several in the state where BJP had made deep inroads in the last Lok Sabha elections by bagging both the parliamentary seats.
She cautioned the people against voting for BJP as it “will pave the way for the implementation of NRC and CAA in Bengal”, which has been vehemently opposed by TMC. Banerjee said, “If you vote for BJP and they come to power (in West Bengal), they will immediately try to introduce the National Register for Citizens (NRC). They will ask you for the birth certificates of your father, your mother, your grandmother and your grandfather. And if you are unable to provide those they will ask you to leave Bengal”.
She also hit out at the Centre over the rising prices of potatoes and onions, which were removed from the list of essential commodities in the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill passed in September 2020. She contended that the amendment was done to protect hoarders and asked the people not to vote for the party responsible for the rise in the prices of essentials. The feisty TMC chief also attacked the BJP-led government at the Centre for the increasing unemployment in the country.
Reacting to Banerjee’s challenge to BJP to send her to jail, the party’s West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh said it seemed she has sensed that the days of the TMC government are numbered. “Why is she making such illogical statements? Is she and her party afraid of anything? The days of the TMC government are numbered in Bengal and I think she has sensed it. “The TMC is wary over the growth of the BJP in Bengal,” he said. Election to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly is due in April-May.