TMC supremo slammed the Centre’s “discriminatory attitude” towards the state and asked people from all religions to unite to defeat the saffron party.
KOLKATA: On the first day of her two-day dharna on Red Road in Kolkata, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday came down heavily on the BJP-led Union government for its “discriminatory attitude” and said that she can stage a demonstration near the Prime Minister residence if needed.
“Many people are raising questions on whether I can sit in a dharna or not. Of course, I can stage sit-in-demonstration one crore times. If needed, I can sit near the house of the PM,” said Mamata.
Terming the BJP as a “washing machine”, Mamata said if anyone speaks against them (BJP), they send CBI and ED after them. “Since they (BJP) came to power, there is not a single example that central agencies are probing into allegations against their leaders,” she said. In a washing machine named ‘BJP’ which was brought on the stage, Banerjee put black clothes which turned white. She asserted that corrupt leaders were spared after joining the saffron camp.
Stating that the 2024 Parliamentary polls will be a fight between the citizens of the country and the BJP, Banerjee said people from all religions — Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Parsi — must unite to defeat the saffron party and save the poor people of the country.
She also described the BJP as ‘Dushasana’ and ‘Duryodhana’ — the two antagonists of the epic Mahabharata. “I urge every political party in India to unite to oust this Dushasana BJP government. This Duryodhana BJP should be removed from power to save the country’s common man as well as Indian democracy,” Banerjee said.
Without naming the saffron party, Mamata said that some people are trying to teach me about the Constitution. “I was MP for seven times and four times as an MLA. Previously, I also staged a demonstration when the CBI arrived at former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s residence to arrest him. As chief minister, Jayalalithaa also staged a sit-in. Also, the dharna is being organised under the banner of our party. The party, which I created, is more important than the government. I want to see what you (BJP) can do,” said Mamata, who is the chairperson of TMC.
Further, she also asserted that the BJP will lose the 2024 Lok Sabha elections as most of its allies have deserted the party. “Their (BJP’s) peak time is over. When they had come to power they had 17 allies. Now, they are alone as 16 have deserted them. What will they do alone? They will get votes only in UP and MP,” the chief minister said.
Abhishek comes in support of Rahul
Meanwhile, Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee also addressed a protest rally barely a few metres away from the CM’s dharna venue on Red Fort slamming the BJP. Abhishek, the national general secretary of the Trinamool Congress, stood beside Rahul Gandhi asking why PM Narendra Modi would not be disqualified as an MP as he had also insulted Mamata during his speeches in the high-octane 2021 Assembly polls in Bengal.
A political war of words broke out during the Assembly elections two years ago when Modi referred to Mamata saying “didi o didi”, which the TMC labelled as a disrespectful comment targeting women in Bengal.
Mamata, accompanied by senior TMC leaders like Firhad Hakim, Aroop Biswas, Subrata Bakshi and Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, reached the dharna venue in front of B R Ambedkar statue on Red Road against the Centre’s discriminatory attitude, ranging from dues to misuse of central agencies.
The sit-in will continue till 7 pm on Thursday.