The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) victory run will end in West Bengal next year, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said at a rally in Bankura district on Wednesday and accused the Communist Party of India (Marxist) of helping the saffron camp. “The BJP will suffer a blow in national politics in 2021,” she said.
“The BJP is a curse for the country. It has to be stopped. It did not win the Bihar assembly elections. It defeated others through manipulation,” said Banerjee. She announced that she was starting her assembly poll campaign from Bankura because the BJP won both the Lok Sabha seats in the district in 2019.
Incidentally, while on a tour of Bankura on November 5, Union home minister Amit Shah had set the tone for the Bengal elections by asking BJP leaders to win more than 200 of the 294 seats.
“I will take complete responsibility from now on. I was too involved in administrative duties and could not give so much time (to the party). That’s why I am starting with Bankura,” Banerjee said on Wednesday. She once again alleged that the lunch Shah and other BJP leaders had at the home of Bibhishan Hansda, a member of the tribal community at Chaturdihi village in Bankura, was cooked by a Brahmin brought from outside.
The assembly polls in Bengal are due in about five months. The BJP won 18 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats.
“I promise you (BJP) will not win a single assembly seat in Bankura next year,” said the chief minister at the rally held at Sanukpahari. “Some people think that if by chance you come to power they may make a fortune. Let me clarify that you stand no chance in the Bengal polls,” she added. “You are using Central probe agencies to scare some TMC leaders. I dare you to arrest me and put me in jail. I will ensure Bengal’s victory even from inside a jail,” said Banerjee.
In her 45-minute speech, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief sent out a strong message to her own party leaders and workers and asked youth and student front leaders to work hard for the next six months and keep an eye on suspicious activities such as secret meetings at odd hours.
“People are being lured with money and provoked to switch camps. I am keeping track of everything. I know who is contacting whom. Bengal does not surrender to the lure of money… Money was given to a lot of people before the Lok Sabha polls. We were not aware of that. But now we are on the alert and each and every person accepting money will be caught,” said Banerjee who was on a three-day tour of Bankura district.
Banerjee sent a strong message to rebel leaders in the TMC without dropping names. “A lot of people are curious to know who will be the party’s election observers in Bankura, Midnapore, Jalpaiguri or other districts. Let me tell you I am the observer everywhere as a party worker, not as leader.”
“CPI (M) leaders are greedy. BJP leaders are exploiters. TMC should be identified for its sacrifice,” she said.
Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh held a rally at Suri town in adjoining Birbhum district around the same time. “The TMC cannot win the polls through manipulation and intimidation. Central forces will be deployed near polling booths and local policemen will be posted far away. The nation cannot be safe as long as the BJP does not win Bengal because the TMC is turning it into a haven for terror outfits,” Ghosh said at the rally.
Birbhum has a Muslim population of 37.06 % according to the 2011 census. Ghosh addressed the minority community in his speech. “Muslims have suffered the most in non-BJP-ruled states, including West Bengal. They will be safe once the BJP is in power. Nobody will touch the minority community members,” he said.
Incidentally, while addressing a tea session at Suri town in the morning, Ghosh alleged that Bengal has witnessed more terror activities than Kashmir. “Ghosh should leave Bengal as he has no idea about this state,” said TMC MP and party spokesperson Saugata Roy.
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