CONGRESS PRESIDENT Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday lashed out at the state and Union governments, saying that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has replicated what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done at the Centre.
Claiming that both Modi and Mamata were a “threat” to democracy and pluralism, and both have the “habit” of blaming previous regimes for things not done, Sonia said: “Trinamool Congress and BJP have put on different masks but they are two sides of the same coin… The nexus between Modi and Mamata is a threat for Bengal. These two powers, full of pride, are a threat for democracy…”
“The way Modi government is behaving is a threat for the basics of our country. It is a threat to secularism, democracy and age-old heritage of our country,” Sonia said, while addressing a rally at Sreerampur stadium in Hooghly in support of Congress candidates Abdul Mannan (Champdani) and Subhankar Sarkar (Sreerampur) and CPM nominees Rabin Deb (Singur) and Shrutinath Praharaj (Uttarpara).
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Sonia, while claiming that the Mamata government had given false hopes to the people, said in the 2011 polls, Congress had entered into an alliance with the Trinamool in the hope that the Bengal would see true development.
“Mamata Banerjee had promised to bring poriborton five years ago and the Congress had supported her… Has she kept her promise? She came to power posing to be the well-wisher of the poor. But soon after becoming CM, she forgot her promises… People were promised houses and jobs… But in reality, not every one has a house… as industries have shut down one after the other, and people have left for other places in search of jobs,” she said.
“Five years ago, the TMC had asked for your votes by giving you false hopes and promises. Now it is trying to take your votes by terrorising you. Just like her, Modi too had spoken of dreams two years ago,” she added.
The Congress chief said both Modi and Mamata had the habit of blaming previous regimes for things not done. “Modiji claimed that Congress has done nothing in the last 60 years. Everything was done in the last two years. I want to say that the Congress has created the constitutional bodies, strengthened the democratic set-up and had made the country self-sufficient in every sphere. Congress had created an atmosphere of peace and brotherhood,” she said.
Claiming that the BJP and Trinamool have a tacit understanding, Sonia said: “Else, why is the investigation into the Saradha scam going slow… and why does Trinamool help BJP pass all anti-national bills in the Parliament.” She went on to describe Trinamool as “a rotten fish” which has damaged the state and urged the people not to be “fooled either by BJP or Trinamool and bring Bengal back to light from darkness”.
Twice in her 14-minute speech, Sonia referred to the Left as the “lal jhandawala party” (party with red flag). “Everyone should vote for Congress and ‘lal jhandawali party’ candidates to bring your own government to power which would ensure peace and prosperity,” she said.
Others on stage included Congress leaders C P Joshi, Shakeel Ahmed Khan, Pradeep Bhattacharya, state party president Adhir Chowdhury and CPM leader Rabin Deb. “Mamata had stolen central projects initiated by the Congress and repackaged the same as her own. The Food Security Bill passed by UPA in 2013 has been renamed Khadya Saathi by Mamata…,” Chowdhury said.