Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee on Thursday launched an attack on the BJP for trying to divide the Muslim votes in the state. She alleged that BJP is backing a new political outfit in Bengal to eat into minority votes ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled to start from March 27.
Notably, she was referring to the Indian Secular Front (ISF) that has fielded its candidates in several Muslim-dominated constituencies of the state. She went on to claim that the founder of the party received money from saffron party.
Mamata said, “A new political outfit has been launched in the state at the behest of the BJP to grab a share of the minority votes and help the saffron party. Please do not vote for its candidates.”
Without naming any party or any person, Banerjee also claimed at an election rally in South 24 Parganas district that the founder of that outfit receives money from the BJP.
The ISF has been launched by a Muslim cleric, Abbas Siddiqui, and it is supporting the Left-Congress alliance in the state’s Assembly polls. Siddiqui had also created a flutter by meeting All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, whose party is likely to contest in the polls.
Mamata Banerjee says only TMC can prevent CAA, NPR
Mamata during a poll rally in Patharpratima said the CPI(M) and Congress have an understanding with the BJP. Only the Trinamool Congress can prevent implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Population Register in the state, and ensure amity among different communities, she said.
Responding to repeated allegations by the BJP against her and the TMC, Banerjee said, “Am I being called a thief and murderer because I love people, and always rush to be on their side whenever required?”
‘Lords of thieves’
The West Bengal CM also dubbed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah as “the lords of thieves”, demanding an explanation on “provident fund dues of lakhs of employees”, and sale of PSU stakes.
On cyclone Amphan and relief measures in its aftermath, she said, “Out of the Rs 1 lakh crore of damages, he (Modi) had promised only a small fraction (Rs 1,000 crore) as help. But, whose money is this? This is state’s money. The Centre did not do Bengal any favour.”
“From cyclone Bulbul to Amphan, we have always come to the rescue of people. We monitored the situation risking our lives, and not sit in the comfort of home. The state government had managed to evacuate 19 lakh people from disaster zones during Amphan.”
Around 30 lakh damaged houses are being rebuilt, the CM said.
“There can be one or two exceptions…,” she said in reference to opposition parties’ allegations of graft in the execution of rehabilitation work. “However, if anyone has not received the relief amount, the person can get the same by writing to the administration after the elections.”
Mamata targets Amit Shah
Banerjee also slammed Shah for asking in public meetings what the TMC had done for West Bengal.
“Let me ask him, have you undertaken schemes like ‘Kanyashree’, ‘Sabujsathi’ and ‘Khadyasathi’? Have you heard about ‘Duare Sarkar’ and its success? Are you giving ration free?
“If the TMC returns to power, it will unveil more such historic social welfare projects covering every section of society,” she asserted.
Banerjee alleged that Shah had “instructed” few media houses to project a higher number of seats for the BJP in surveys, but “first let it cross the 75-seat mark, which the saffron party will not be able to”.
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