Indian Express

Face of Gujarat riots is face of BJP: Mamata

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CM Mamata Banerjee at an election rally in North Dinajpur, Friday. (PTI) CM Mamata Banerjee at an election rally in North Dinajpur, Friday. (PTI)

A day after Narendra Modi accused her of votebank politics, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee launched yet another scathing attack on the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate saying those who have blood on their hands should not talk about the country.

“It does not behove well to talk about the country for those who have blood on their hands,” Mamata said without naming Modi.

She said the BJP will not get a single seat (in Bengal) this time even if it had the funds. The West Bengal Chief Minister, who was addressing an election rally at Karandighi in North Dinajpur district, said the Trinamool Congress was a part of NDA when Atal Behari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister and it was then that “Gujarat had witnessed riots and the people did not support riots”.

Later, at another election meeting at Islampur, she again attacked Modi. “Don’t vote for BJP as they are only interested in driving a wedge between Hindus and Muslims. The face of the Gujarat riots is the face of BJP. This is their real face,” Mamata said, again, without naming Modi. “Some people, even before the polls are over, are thinking that they have become prime minister and president. Let the polls be over,” Mamata said, adding that both the Congress and BJP were similar.

“I have been with NDA and UPA. Both are the same. After elections they raised prices thinking that people will forget. Why did we leave UPA? Because of FDI in retail. We refused to accept it as it would close small shops,” she claimed. The TMC chief further accused the central government of constantly attacking the party because “we (TMC) speak for the poor and the deprived class.”

She also talked about her opposition to land acquisition. “I am against acquisition of land forcibly. We will not acquire land by pointing guns at farmers. I will prefer death than acquire land forcibly,” she said in an apparent reference to Congress MP Deepa Dasmunshi’s criticism of  her government for non-cooperation in acquiring land for an AIIMS-like hospital at Raiganj in North Dinajpur.

Mamata said she was not averse to setting up of the facility at Itahar or Kaliaganj in North Dinajpur district or in Siliguri. “Some are saying I am trying to obstruct the setting up of the hospital. Why should I do so? I see that some people here are engaged in politicking over the hospital at Raigunj,” she said without naming Dasmunshi.

Mamata has pitted Pabitra Ranjan Dasmunshi against Deepa in Raiganj, a seat that has traditionally voted for Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi till the former union minister fell seriously ill. Pabitra is Priya’s brother.

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