TMC Martyrs’ Day rally: Mamata slams BJP; says it’s ‘high on power’, indulging in horse-trading

Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata, July 21: Addressing the Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) annual Martyrs’ Day rally in Kolkata, Mamata Banerjee said that she would initiate a state-wide protest on July 26 demanding return of black money ‘siphoned off’ by BJP. She also accused BJP of trying to lure TMC MLAs by offering Rs 2 crore and a petrol pump to switch over.

Slamming BJP and CPM in her address, the TMC chief said she would not allow “communalism and goondaism in the state” and added that she will launch a statewide protest against the saffron party.

Banerjee attacked BJP for vandalising a Vidyasagar statue in May. “BJP is high on power. Wake up people and counter BJP. Bengal has seen golden days under TMC,” she said at the rally. Taking her request further, Banerjee urged paper ballots to return and for people to shun EVMs, adding, “2019 election is not a history but a mystery”

“Just like in Karnataka, BJP is indulging in horse-trading everywhere,” she alleged. The TMC chief further added: “Credit for smooth functioning of Parliament goes to opposition parties, not those in power.

Banerjee on Sunday accused the BJP-led Central government of trying to prevent Trinamool Congress supporters from coming to its ‘Matryrs’ Day’ rally by cancelling several trains to Kolkata.

She also charged the saffron party activists with forcefully stopping and vandalising many buses carrying Trinamool activists to Kolkata from the districts and said her party would hold protest rallies at those locations on Monday.

“BJP is in power at the Centre. They control the railways. I have got the information that many trains have been cancelled today (Sunday) so that people from far-off districts and north Bengal cannot come to our rally,” Banerjee alleged while speaking at the 26th edition of her party’s Martyrs’ Day rally in central Kolkata’s Esplanade.

“BJP has started attacking our people after winning only a handful of seats in the Lok Sabha elections. I have got the news that they vandalised buses and beat up our workers at Hooghly’s Gurap and Midnapore’s Patashpur. Trinamool will hold counter rallies against this violence in all those places tomorrow,” she said.

Sticking to her claims that the 2019 elections were rigged by the BJP, she said the saffron party managed to win 18 Lok sabha seats in Bengal by manipulating electronic voting machines (EVMs), misusing the Election Commission and the Central forces, as well as intimidating people.

She said her party had never reacted in such a hostile manner as the BJP even after winning 26 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal in the 2009 general elections when the Left was in power in the state.

Alleging that the BJP leaders in the state had no understanding of the cultural ethos of Bengal, she said the saffron party was trying to capture power by bringing in leaders from other states and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) “miscreants”.

She also urged her party workers to keep an eye on the movement of “outsiders” in their localities and prevent them from misguiding people.

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