West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lashed out at the Centre on Friday saying the government is not allowing state governments to work. While addressing the Martyr’s Day rally in Kolkata commemorating 1993 Kolkata firing, Mamata also said: “Even Hindus cant survive the fake Hinduism. Don’t know if Dalits, Muslims can survive with dignity,” she was quoted as saying by NDTV while criticising the Narendra Modi-led government.
Her party Trinamool Congress has been at constant loggerheads with the NDA government over various issues like the Saradha scam and Gorkhaland protests. While addressing Friday’s rally, Mamata said she “doesn’t need character certificate from Centre.”
“Trinamool Congress gives a nationwide call today… Starting August 9 to August 30 this year will be BJP Bharat Chhoro movement,” she said to the crowd. “Emergency-like situation will be held, not sure if rights will be upheld,” she was quoted as saying by NDTV. The TMC chief has been a constant critic of PM Modi government on issues ranging from mob lynching to freedom of speech and expression.
The annual Martyr’s Day rally in Kolkata has been a show of strength for several years now. In the past, Mamata has used the occasion to send out messages to the party rank and file. The rally is likely to be a platform for TMC leaders to sound the poll bugle ahead of the 2018 panchayat elections in the state.
TMC has set up camps in the Milan Mela ground to accommodate supporters. “Today, I came to visit our workers who have come from across the state. After witnessing their enthusiasm, I am confident that the turnout of tomorrow’s rally will break all previous July 21 records. It is a surprise that despite relentless smear campaign against our party chief Mamata Banerjee by Opposition parties, there has been no dearth of support for her. People of Bengal are with Mamata Banerjee and are for development,” Party MP Abhishek Banerjee said on Thursday.
Multiple rallies will be taken from different parts of Kolkata, which will converge in Esplanade. Processions will be taken out from Howrah and Sealdah stations, S P Mukherjee Road, C R Avenue, Beliaghata and Diamond Harbour Road among others. Roadside camps have been set up with food and directions to the venue.
Party workers have been urged not to give in to provocations. “The ruling party at the Centre is indulging in provocation to create unrest in the state. Do not respond to such provocations,” Trinamool general secretary Subrata Bakshi said.