Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday accused the “wrong” foreign policies of the Narendra Modi government for “worsening diplomatic relations” with neighbouring countries such as China, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh and said this meant a deterioration of the state’s ties with its neighbours. On a day the Monsoon Session of Parliament started, and MPs and MLAs across the the country voted for the President’s elections, her party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has registered its protest against “injustices and the anarchy” prevailing in the country under the Modi government by supporting Meira Kumar, the Opposition’s Presidential candidate, Mamata said. She also said TMC will oppose the NDA government’s “anti-people” moves such as implementation of GST, demonetisation and Aadhaar, among others, in and outside the House.
“Trinamool will continue to be vocal about Kashmir, the attack on Amarnath yatris, (making mandatory) Aadhaar card, violence in the name of cow protection, and systemic efforts to break the country’s federal structure,” she said. “They have pushed the country backwards with demonetisation —- note-bandi and GST have become instruments of corruption. How much black money was recovered? The country is yet to know.” Without naming the Sangh Parivar, she said, “They will orchestrate riots and states will have to bear the brunt? This cannot continue. We will keep fighting like tigers. They can keep indulging in the politics of vindictiveness if they wish to —- we are ready to go to jail, but we will not bow down.”
Alleging that “outsiders” were allowed into West Bengal to foment trouble, Banerjee said, “Nearly 400 schools have mushroomed around the Pashupati Gate near Darjeeling where Chinese language is being taught. Who allowed that? Jamaatis (Islamist radicals), who are also fighting (Bangladesh PM) Sheikh Hasina, were allowed to enter through Satkhira and incite communal violence through fake videos. People here believe in harmony, and we thwarted their efforts. But the question is, who allowed them to enter West Bengal?” Satkhira is a district in Bangladesh bordering North and South 24 Parganas in West Bengal.
Slamming the Modi government’s “wrong” foreign policies, Banerjee said, “We are the worst sufferers, the victims of circumstance. India’s relations with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh have worsened. Bengal shares its borders with these countries. What will happen if China takes control of Sikkim? What will happen to the ‘chicken neck’ region near Siliguri? The Centre’s wrong international policies have worsened our relations with our neighbours.”
She said, “We have been asking for deployment of central forces in Darjeeling for one month but the Centre did not respond. Instead of heightening security in and around the ‘chicken neck’ region, the Centre is making the area vulnerable for foreign powers to come and capture it. The Centre is trying to sell the country.”
Criticising the VHP’s “aggressive” activities, Banerjee said, “We want cordial relations with Bangladesh. But we have information that VHP (activists) burnt effigies of Sheikh Hasina on July 1. Why was it allowed? How is the VHP giving arms training to children in the name of Durga Vahini? Parallel governments are being run in the name of gau-rakshaks and vahinis. What are Central government agencies such as RAW, IB, NSA and NIA doing?”