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Would be happy if BJP’s downfall starts with Karnataka Assembly polls: Mamata Banerjee

MALDA: Calling upon people in Karnataka to vote for any other party but the BJP in the assembly polls, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday said she would be happy if the saffron camp’s “downfall” starts with the southern state ahead of the 2024 general elections.

Banerjee, during an address at TMC’s mass outreach campaign, said the ”sooner the BJP is voted out of power”, the better it is for the nation, as it is the “worst” political party in the country.

“Don’t vote for BJP in the Karnataka Assembly polls; vote for any other party you like… I would be happy if BJP’s downfall starts with Karnataka (ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections),” she said.

The Karnataka Assembly polls are scheduled to be held on May 10. The counting of votes will take place on May 13.

Former Karnataka chief minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy had in March flown down to Kolkata to meet Banerjee at her residence, and requested the Trinamool Congress supremo to campaign in the assembly polls.

The BJP is in power in the southern state, with the Congress and the JD(S) as its primary challengers.

Banerjee also accused the saffron camp of ”spreading lies” whenever elections approach.

”During the Uttar Pradesh polls, they promised two (LPG) cylinders (per household); one during Holi and another during Diwali. In Karnataka, they promised three cylinders. If there was a competition for lying, the BJP will win the first prize,” she claimed.

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The CM alleged that the BJP has been “maligning” the Hindu religion to serve its own interests, and “destroying the spirituality in Hinduism”.

“They are defaming the Hindu religion by pitting one community against another,” she said.

Lashing out at the BJP for trying to frame opposition leaders by misusing central agencies, Banerjee said, ”They behave as if they are sage and all opposition leaders are thieves.” The day BJP is voted out of power, the people of this country will learn about their “organised loot” in these nine years, she claimed. She also criticised the Centre over the scuffle between Delhi Police and protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar, and wondered how many central teams were sent there.

”The agitating wrestlers were assaulted by police in New Delhi last night. How many central teams were sent there? The BJP should clarify its stand,” the Bengal CM said.

Earlier in the day, Banerjee had tweeted in support of women wrestlers, and said disrobing the honour of India’s daughters in such a manner was “utterly shameful”.

The wrestlers have been staging a sit-in at Jantar Mantar since April 23. They have levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is also a BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh.

The feisty TMC boss also said the central government has not been releasing funds due to West Bengal despite the state being the “best performer in MGNREGA implementation”.

Source: Press Trust of India

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