West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday went on a warpath with the BJP and said it was the “need of the hour” for all regional parties to come together and stand united against the saffron surge. Setting her sight of national politics, Banerjee said that her party would “fly the flag of TMC throughout the country” and contest Lok Sabha polls from Punjab.
Slamming the BJP-led NDA government for putting TMC MPs in jails with the help of CBI, the TMC supremo said the people of the country would put an end to this “Jail Ka Khel” (the game of putting MPs in Jail).
“It is the need of the hour for all political parties to come together. We want the unity of all regional parties. I appeal to them to be together. Be united. Our party must unite the people of the country and our strategy is to unite all regional parties against the BJP. They are trying to destroy the federal structure of the country,” she said after being elected as the chairperson of Trinamool Congress for next six years during a party’s organisational election at Netaji Indoor Stadium.
“Workers from our Punjab unit have come here and I want to tell them keep up the good work because we will contest Lok Sabha polls from there. I will visit the Golden Temple someday. We will also do well in next Assembly election in Tripura. In the days to come, our workers will reach out to the people in every block of the country. We will give support to the regional parties. Somewhere we will contest along with them also and somewhere we will contest alone. The All-India Trinamool Congress will fly heir flags throughout the country for the interest of the people, for the interest of the unity and for the interest of all religion,” Banerjee said.
Lambasting the BJP-led NDA government for pursuing “vendetta politics”, Banerjee said the Central government was using CBI to put all her party MPs and ministers in Jail. “BJP is attacking us because we are vocal about certain issues like demonetisation. Our party works to protect the interest of the people and that’s why they are attacking us. They are using agencies like CBI to destroy us and put our MPs and ministers in jails so that there will be no TMC government in Bengal. How many will they put in jail? On day he people of the country will put an end to their ‘Jail Ka Khel’ (the game of putting MPs in jail,” she said.
The Chief Minister also said the present situation in the country was severe than what it was like in emergency period. “They have put our MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay in jail. He has been there for months without a fair trial. This is dangerous than emergency period. Our minister Madana Mitra was in jail for two years. What was his fault? They put him in jail just because he was seen with someone in a meeting. But we are not afraid. One day Sudip da will come out of jail as a hero,” Banerjee said.
She also asked all twelve TMC leaders, who were named in the CBI FIR in Narada sting case, to be strong and said the CBI would not be able to prove that they were guilty. “They had fought and that’s why cases have been lodged against them. But they can never prove that they are guilty. Be brave and be strong, there is no need to be afraid,” she told the accused TMC leaders.
Shifting her focus to the BJP and Sangh Parivaar outfits, Banerjee asked them to shun the “divide and rule politics” and respect all religion. “Recently a fatwa was issued against me and now someone said he will not allow me to visit Jagannath Temple in Puri. There cannot be ‘zabardasti’ on what will I eat and where will I go. We can also do this to other but we do not believe in such politics. They are deciding who is a Hindu and who is not. They are deciding everything. This is against our constitution. This is not the culture of the country. We must respect each other. We never disrespect others and that is our culture,” she said.
Banerjee also warned her party workers about the negative campaign launched allegedly by Sangh Parivar Outfits against the TMC in social media and asked them to stay vigil in their respective locality to check he entry of outsiders in the state.
“Some sister organisations of BJP are indulging in a negative campaign against us in social media and sparing misinformation. They are getting funds from outside to play this dirty politics. Counter them in social media. Unless we dethrone BJP from power in Delhi, our struggle would continue against them. We have to fight against this conspiracy,” she said.
“I am also getting reports that RSS, Bajrang Dal and other similar outfits are sending their cadres from other states… the likes of Gujarat, Maharasthra, Bihar, Jharkhand and etc… to our states to create unrest. We have to keep vigil. Be alert and identify the outsiders from other states and inform the local police stations. We will not tolerate this politics of revenge,” she added.
The Chief Minister further criticised the display of arms during Ram Navami rallies in the state and said she witnessed such kind of rallies in Bengal before. “Does religion mean carrying arms? I have never seen such rallies in the state. In the name of Ram, they are doing it. There is a limit. I will not allow this display of arms in the name of Ram,” she said.