April 4, 2021 5:20:00 am
Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Saturday urged Muslims to not allow a division of votes and asked Hindus to be on the guard against the BJP’s attempts to “instigate communal clashes”. Without naming the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM and Abbas Siddiqui-led ISF, she claimed the saffron party has engaged two Muslim leaders to divide the minority vote in West Bengal.
The Chief Minister made the remarks while addressing three rallies across the state on Saturday — in Tarakeswar in Hooghly, and in Raidighi and Kulpi in South 24 Parganas.
While asserting her Hindu identity in a bid to counter the allegation of minority appeasement, the Chief Minister also urged Muslims to not “allow anyone to divide your votes”. “The leader who came from Hyderabad and the one who joined hands with the Left Front and the Congress are helping BJP in the state by dividing the minority votes. Please don’t allow anyone to divide your votes. We must win more than 200 seats,” she said in Raidighi.
Banerjee said she is a Hindu who recites the Chandi Path everyday while leaving home. “But I believe in our tradition of giving respect to every religion,” she said.
Criticising BJP leaders for having lunch at houses of Dalits, she said, “I am a Brahmin. But my all-time associate is a Scheduled Caste woman who takes care of all my needs. She also cooks food for me everyday.”
The TMC chief urged Hindus to be on the guard against the BJP’s attempts to “instigate communal clashes” and called upon them to chase away outsiders sent to foment trouble in their localities.
Banerjee also asked her booth workers to raise an alarm if they find central forces inside the booth. “They are not supposed to be inside the booth. If you notice any central force jawan inside the booth, please lodge a complaint with the EC,” she said.
The Chief Minister accused the Election Commission of working on the instructions of BJP leaders. “The EC is not taking our complaints seriously. It is our humble request to them to ensure free and fair polls in the rest of the phases,” she said.
Expressing confidence that she will win from Nandigram constituency, the TMC chief again termed associate-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP as a “gaddaar (traitor)” — she ruled out the possibility of contesting from another seat. “I defeated the gaddaar and surely will win from Nandigram.”
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