Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday alleged that the BJP was targeting educationists and “trying to break universities and educational institutions”. She defended Nobel laureate Amartya Sen who has been accused of illegally occupying land belonging to the Visva-Bharati University (VBU).
“They [BJP] want to torch Bengal through riots. BJP is trying to break universities and educational institutions like JNU. Bengal is being maligned. Gandhiji had come to Beliaghata to bring peace during the  riots,” Banerjee told reporters here following an administrative meeting.
She added, “I am being targeted politically. Be it Abhijit Banerjee or Amartya Sen, they have a different place in society. Our educationists are being targeted. Now, they are feeling isolated. In all these years, they [BJP] did not say anything about Netaji. Now, they are talking about him.”
On Friday, the chief minister had written to Sen expressing her support and slammed the BJP and slammed the BJP for “levelling baseless allegations” against him. The economist wrote back on Monday, thanking Banerjee for her “supportive letter” and for finding the time to reassure “people under attack”.
In Bolpur, the chief minister said, “Amartya Sen is being attacked for his views against the Union government. This is completely unacceptable. Just like, I am being attacked for my political views.”
Referring to the farmers’ agitation against the Centre’s new agricultural laws, Banerjee said she was with the farmers and demanded that the government repeal the laws. “We are with the farmers. We demand the three draconian agriculture laws be withdrawn,” she added.
Claiming that attempts were being made to break the backbone and pride of Bengal, the chief minister denied she or her party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), had labelled people from other states as outsiders. Banerjee, who will participate in a roadshow here on Tuesday, said she was only against an “alien thought process” being imposed on Indians.
The TMC chief, who has often accused the BJP of bringing outsiders to the state ahead of next year’s Assembly elections, alleged that efforts were being made to destroy the state’s political fabric.
“We do not term our countrymen as outsiders, definitely we all can go to any state. But attempts are being made to break the backbone, self-pride and history of Bengal. What we are saying is that our culture is that of Indianism and not the alien thought process they are propagating. Efforts are on to disrespect the culture of Bengal by spreading lies and misinformation,” she added.