Speaking in the Assembly, Banerjee said, “I feel all of us (TMC, Congress and CPM) should come together in the fight against BJP.”
She said, “It does not mean we have to join hands politically, but we can come together on common issues at the national level.”
The CPM, however, accused Banerjee of helping the BJP grow in Bengal. Party MLA Sujan Chakraborty told the media, “The TMC gave them (BJP) the opportunity to grow here. The Chief Minister must admit she is responsible for this. The TMC is doing nothing on the way BJP is capturing our party offices and getting hold of civic bodies through defections.”
The Congress, on the other hand, welcomed Mamata’s proposal. “Politics before May 23 (the day Lok Sabha polls results were announced) and after May 23 is qualitatively different with new challenges. There are people who can see this. There are others who cannot. I prefer to be in the first group. Opposing BJP is a bigger responsibility. It is a welcome call by Mamata Banerjee,” Congress leader and state party vice-president Om Prakash Mishra said.
In the Vidhan Sabha, the Chief Minister accused the Centre of running a parallel administration in West Bengal during the Lok Sabha polls. “For the last five years, we are fighting (the Centre’s alleged bid to run the show in Bengal), and we will continue.”
She said, “We did not want post-election violence. The BJP ran a parallel administration, as the police was under Election Commission. In all, 10 people died in this violence. We are investigating how two BJP workers were killed; one death in Amdanga (under Barrackpore Lok Sabha constituency) was due to enmity. A section of the media is working as BJP’s mouthpiece and are creating hype over the Barrackpore issue.”
Enemy No 1 identified
With less than two years left for state polls, Mamata Banerjee has identified BJP as political enemy number one, and therefore her appeal to her party TMC’s otherwise arch-rival CPI(M). While the appeal is for understanding at the national level, whether a call will come for a similar understanding at the state level, to cut the division of votes with a four-cornered contest, is anybody’s guess.
Banerjee also accused the BJP of flaming violence in Bhatpara (also under Barrackpore constituency). In a bid to “warn” the people who voted for the BJP, Banerjee said, “Just see Bhatpara and think what’s happening today after voting for them (BJP)…. They are hiring thousands of RSS (workers) from outside. We condemn the incident in which a man was pushed out of a train for not chanting the slogan (of Jai Shri Ram).”
BJP leader Mukul Roy accused Banerjee of giving wrong information about political killings. “She said 10 people were killed after May 23, of which eight belonged to her party. She must show us the list of TMC workers with names and addresses who have been killed — she cannot, she is lying. We have a list of 14 BJP workers killed since May 23.”
On the issue of “cut money”, Banerjee said there is nothing wrong in disciplining her party workers but added that they should not be maligned without evidence. The remarks come amid protests, with many people demanding return of “cut money” that TMC’s elected local representatives had allegedly taken from them in order to receive benefit of state government’s welfare schemes.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines