Stating that a new dawn is coming and that opposition parties have pledged to work together to defeat the Narendra Modi-led BJP, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee, who brought leaders of 22 political on one stage at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Grounds on Saturday, said that a “change is imminent, and no one can stop that”.
Addressing the gathering last, a “grateful” Banerjee thanked the senior leaders who came for the rally and asserted that the BJP will get “zero seats” in many states, including Bengal.
She said: “This mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) will create a new history for the nation. Today, everybody should stand united — the nation demands it. Region is not important, the nation is, and this should be kept in mind. Collective leadership is essential.”
Banerjee accused the Modi government of crossing the “Lakshman Rekha” by “bulldozing” regional parties in an attempt to silence them, and said it is now time to regroup and fight back. She said, “We have to prepare mentally to defeat BJP. Enough of achhe din (rhetoric); it’s time to bid say goodbye BJP.”
“They (BJP) are fighting elections with money. They have robbed people during demonetisation, and by hastily implementing GST. Now they are telling people that everyone else is corrupt,” she said.
Banerjee said: “Modi-babu claims only he is honest and the rest are dishonest. (But) how much money did they (BJP) have five years ago? How did their wealth increase? I don’t want to make personal comments but they initiated it — they crossed the Lakshman Rekha. They tried to implicate Sonia-ji (Gandhi), Lalu-ji (Prasad), Akhilesh (Yadav), Mayawati-ji, and even me. Why will they (BJP) expect to be spared? If you are with them, you are labelled honest; else you are a bunch of thieves?”
Banerjee maintained that the ruling party is trying to scare the Opposition. “This is what happens to people who know that their end is near,” she added.
She said the ruling party will face a drubbing in many states.
In a message for non-BJP opposition parties who did not participate in the rally, the TMC chief said, “There are a few other parties who will not support the BJP. We hope they will work for the country.”