KALAIKUNDA/GARBETA/KESIARI:Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said she would bring ‘parivartan’ (change) to Delhi after winning the upcoming assembly polls in her home state.
The chief minister said that the BJP is targeting West Bengal with all its might as it knows that she will go for the Centre soon after securing victory in her state. Political analysts have long speculated that Banerjee, who has served as a central minister earlier, harboured ambitions of playing a key role in national politics.
“The BJP is afraid that if we win in West Bengal, then we will bring an alternative in Delhi and that is why they are targeting the state with all force,” she said while addressing a public meeting in Kalaikunda in Paschim Medinipur district, famous for its air force base from which Indian jets played a key role in the 1971 war.
Banerjee also accused the BJP of “stealing” her ‘parivartan’ slogan and remodelling it as ‘asol parivartan’ (real change) for the Bengal elections. Accusing the BJP-led government at the Centre of trying to “sell off the Railways”, the former railway minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet urged people not to vote for the saffron party.
She also promised a new port at Digha and ancillary industries in the railway town of Kharagpur and other parts of Purba and Paschim Medinipur districts.
Claiming that her government has brought down unemployment in West Bengal by 40 per cent, she said the MSME sector will receive an investment of Rs 5 lakh crore, which will create a large number of jobs.
She promised to accord OBC status to some castes following requisite inquiry. The chief minister also promised Rs 10 lakh education loan to students at only 4 per cent interest for pursuing higher studies.
Alleging that the BJP will try to rig the assembly elections, Banerjee asked TMC workers to remain vigilant during and after the eight-phase elections till the counting of votes on May 2.
“I have respect for the police, they do not do such things, but there are instructions from the BJP to take hold of the EVM machines,” she alleged.
Maintaining that the once-Maoist stronghold of Jangalmahal region is now a peaceful area, Banerjee said her government has worked hard for its development. The TMC had won most of the assembly seats in the Jangalmahal region in the 2016 elections but the BJP emerged victorious in all the five Lok Sabha seats in the region, spread over Paschim Medinipur, Jhargram, Bankura and Purulia districts, in the 2019 polls.
At a separate rally at Kesiari, Banerjee asked “Marxist friends” to desist from voting for the CPI(M) or the Congress as they were in league “with the communal BJP”. She asked people not to cast a single vote to those “who have links with the killers of Gandhiji” and alleged that “the CPI-M is now helping the BJP.”
The TMC supremo is facing a difficult fight this time against her one-time follower and now BJP leader, Suvendu Adhikari at Nandigram in neighbouring Purba Medinipur district and had earlier turned to the Left Front and Congress to defeat the saffron party.
“Only the TMC will keep up its fight against the BJP,” she said and blamed the saffron party for conspiring against her which led to her injury on March 10 at Nandigram when she was campaigning there.
“After the attack they (BJP) are now spreading falsehoods. After the conspiracy they are now involved in character assassination,” Banerjee alleged. The chief minister also accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of plundering crores of rupees.
“Tell us what happened to PM Cares Fund, what happened to the currencies declared defunct during ‘notebandi’. What happened to the Ujjwala Yojana?
“How much money is changing hands by selling PSUs and closing them down. No audit, no account of that huge cash,” she alleged.
Stepping up her tirade against the BJP, Banerjee said its leaders from outside arrive in choppers and planes with “sackful of cash” before elections to lure voters and “loot votes”.
Significantly, Banerjee recited ‘Chandi shlokas’ while concluding her speeches at Garbeta and Kesiari meetings. Analysts feel it is a bid by the TMC leader to counter propaganda of her playing the minority card before the polls.
Source: Press Trust of India