West Bengal Minister for Food and Supplies Jyotipriya Mullick Sunday alleged that a conspiracy was being hatched by the BJP to kill Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and asked the Trinamool Congress workers to remain vigilant for preventing any such incident.
Addressing his party workers in Bongaon ahead of byelections to this parliamentary seat on February 13, he said: “The CPM had the habit of first resorting to character assassination of a person and then kill him or her. Now, the BJP has adopted the same tactic. They first went for character assassination of our CM and now since they have failed, they could kill her. We will have to guard against any such possibility.’’
Later, when asked why he did not file a police complaint if there was actually a conspiracy to assassinate Banerjee, Mullick told The Indian Express, “It’s our party people who will protect her. There is no need to file a complaint with the police.’’
The minister also predicted that in 2019 the BJP would lose the general elections under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Banerjee would emerge as a key player. “In 2019, it will be ‘Bhag Modi Bhag’… and Didi will become the decisive force at the Centre.’’
The battle for Bongaon seat appears to be a close one as recently Manjul Krishna Thakur, a minister in the Trinamool Congress government and an influential leader in the region, quit the party to join the BJP.
The TMC has now started campaigning aggressively to retain this seat that it had won in 2014 with a margin of around one lakh votes.
While the TMC has fielded Mamatabala, wife of the late Kapilkrishna Thakur, the BJP appeared to be set to name Subrata, son of Manjul Krishna Thakur, as the party nominee.
Following the rebellion, the TMC is on a sticky wicket as the division in the Thakur family is likely to result in an erosion in the support of the Motua sect for the Mamata Banerjee-led party. Motuas form more than 50 per cent of the electorate of Bongaon constituency, which has around 15 lakh voters.