West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday blamed the Modi government’s “diplomatic failure” for the “deterioration” in ties with neighbours like China, Nepal and Bangladesh, and said her state “suffered” because of it. “If China takes over Sikkim, which has similarities with Darjeeling, that will be because of the Centre’s failure. Relations with neighbouring countries like China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh have deteriorated because of the central government’s diplomatic failure,” she said amid the continued stand-off between the Indian and Chinese armies in the Sikkim section.
“West Bengal suffered on account of this failure because it is sandwiched…..It is the gateway to Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan,” she told reporters here after casting her vote in the presidential election. Emphasising that she has always been for sharing good relations with Bangladesh, Banerjee said she had spoken to the External Affairs Minister when an effigy of that country’s premier Sheikh Hasina was burnt by the VHP on July 1.
Targeting central government agencies like the IB, SSB, RAW and NIA, the chief minister wondered what these were doing when around 400 schools teaching Chinese language sprang up at Pashupathi gate near Darjeeling. “What were the IB and SSB doing?” she asked. “Who let the Jamat enter through Satkhira district (in Bangladesh)? Who opened the borders for them? They (Jamat) are against Hasina and tried to start a riot in West Bengal. But the people of the state are good and managed to resist the attempt. They had tried to start riots by spreading fake videos on social media,” she alleged.
She claimed the state government was in possession of details of who allowed troublemakers to enter West Bengal from Satkhira. “West Bengal will not be an easy task for the BJP. If BJP thinks that by killing people in the name of ‘goraksha’ or by firing guns or by initiating riots they can grab Bengal, they are mistaken. And if we protest, we will be threatened by the CBI, ED and I-T,” she said. “But I would like to tell them that we never bow our heads (before the Centre),” she said.