A 'new combination' govt will be elected this time: CM
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday that the BJP will not get any seat in Bengal and there will be a "new combination" government at the Centre. In an interview to a national channel, Banerjee said: "BJP will get zero in Bengal. Bengal and Uttar Pradesh will emerge as the kingmaker states. BJP will score a zero in Punjab, Delhi and the southern states."
She alleged that the BJP and RSS are supporting Congress candidates. "BJP is backing Congress and CPI(M) and vice versa. Even RSS is backing Congress candidates. They are doing this in Punjab also," she pointed out.
Banerjee said with confidence that neither the NDA nor UPA will come to power in Delhi. "Neither of the two will come to power in Delhi on its own. There will be a completely new combination this time," she said.
Asked to comment on who would become the Opposition's choice for Prime Minister, she maintained: "The Prime Minister will be selected by the United India leaders unanimously. We will sit and discuss amongst us and there will be a common minimum programme and on the basis of that, the new leader will be elected. We will find a good Prime Minister for sure," she said.
Banerjee alleged that the BJP is dividing people on the basis of religion and trying to control the food habits of people. "They are using religion as a commodity to win elections. They are using religion to create a divide among the people and are inciting one against the other. It is a dangerous trend in the country, she remarked and added: "We believe in the religion of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. For us, tolerance is religion. BJP has imported a new religion and is spreading hatred throughout the country. But people in Bengal are secular. You will find Hindus in Iftar parties and Muslims during Durga Puja celebrations. We have Durga Puja committees where Muslims hold key roles. For generations, the Hindus and Muslims have lived together. It was Rabindranath Tagore who had tied 'rakhi' as a mark of protest against the British government's proposal to partition Bengal in 1905," she said, adding: "We are tolerant in Bengal and BJP cannot get votes by dividing people," she said.
Banerjee alleged that the language of Narendra Modi and some of the BJP leaders are "nasty" and such language is uncalled for. "As political leaders, we must have control over the language we use. The Model Code of Conduct should be kept in mind." She felt that the BJP should not bring the Balakot incident in political campaigns. We all respect the Indian Army and no one should bring them up and their achievements during poll campaigns," she maintained.
Banerjee reiterated that if the United India government comes to power there will be an inquiry into Modi's decision to ban high-value notes. "The note ban is a big scam and it will be probed once the new government takes over. It has shattered our economy and has made lakhs of people unemployed."
Asked about the participation of young people in politics, she said: "It is time for them to take up the baton. We all want our future generations to take up the baton." She said Abhishek did not want to join politics but later, he changed his mind.
Banerjee categorically said she does not support the Citizenship Amendment Bill and NRC. "They are being used to create fear psychosis among the people. But rest assured, BJP will not be able to divide society."
Commenting on her simple living, the Chief Minister added: "I do not take the salary as the Chief Minister or the salary as the Union Railway minister. I have written more than 80 books and the royalty I get helps me to use my own car and survive. As advised by doctors, I walk 20 km a day and try to look after my health."