The chief minister, before leaving for New Delhi to attend an opposition rally convened by her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal, condemned the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh for “detaining Akhilesh and not allowing him to board a plane to Prayagraj”.
“In the opposition-ruled states, (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi attends rallies and speak of democracy. But in the states ruled by the BJP, the opposition is not given any democratic space. I heard that even Jignesh Mevani was stopped from attending a programme at Gujarat. I strongly condemn such incidents,” Mamata told reporters at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.
She also appreciated late singer Bhupen Hazarika’s son, Tej Hazarika, for rejecting his father’s Bharat Ratna award citing Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. “Bhupen Hazarika is respected throughout the country. His son’s gesture proves of how genuine the general concern is about Citizenship (Amendment) Bill,” said Mamata.
The chief minister also said that apart from denying political space in the BJP-ruled states, the party is also “misusing different central agencies” in the opposition-ruled states to “harass leaders and people” there. “The BJP is misusing each and every central agency and this they are doing in many states. The Prime Minister is too scared since he knows very well that the expiry date of his term is over,” she said.
In Delhi, she will attend the inaugural function of Gorkha Bhawan, set up for Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. “I will also have discussions with leaders of other parties,” she said.
Reacting to Mamata’s statement, BJP state secretary Sayantan Basu said, “It is Mamata Banerjee who is creating hurdles for rallies and public meetings of BJP national leaders in Bengal… This is double-speak on her part.”