As soon as BJP is ousted from Centre, their 'growth' will die in a second
Kolkata: Soon after addressing an election rally in the South Kolkata Lok Sabha constituency, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee gave a brief interview to The Wire's founding editor Siddharth Varadarajan and its Calcutta-based contributor Himadri Ghosh.
In the interview, she discussed the possible outcomes of the election on May 23, accused Narendra Modi of political vendetta and also touched upon how the BJP's so-called growth will come down drastically once they are ousted from the Centre.
SV: Well, the 2019 election, Narendra Modi has been the face, the voice, the name that has dominated the campaign. And you have been perhaps the most forthright in directly challenging him. You say no matter what happens, Narendra Modi must go. Why do you believe that this one person's ouster is so crucial to this election?
MB: He's not only a fascist, he's an egoist. He has tremendous political vendetta. I used some harsh words today. But they are not harsh words. They are politically strong, bold words. Because, you know, we respect our great son of the soil, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, very much. We are celebrating 200 years this year. But the goons, the BJP goons from the Amit Shah rally, they have totally destroyed Vidyasagar's statue... These type of people must go from this country. They must go from politics. The politician should know what is politics. Politics means sacrifice. Politics means dedication, determination, devotion. But if you think politics means "goondaism", hooliganism, fair enough... In a democracy, everybody has the right to speak.
SV: Does it worry you that in Bengal, in a very short duration of time, the BJP has emerged as your principal challenger? The Left does not seem to be in the race.
MB: Not at all, somebody will be the opposition. In a democratic setup, somebody will be ruling party, somebody will be opposition. I may be number one, but they may be number two, three or four. It is the CPM's business, that CPM's goons, they are joining the BJP, because the BJP is giving… to them also. So it is their matter. I don't mind who will come as the second person. I will certainly try that I must be first.
HG: Madam, we have seen for some time, people from the CPM are now marching under the BJP flag. Who do you blame for this?
MB: I am telling you, this is not growth. This is absolutely not growth. This happens when the BJP is in power in the Centre. They use the situation. There, they work through agencies, so there is some growth. If the BJP is not in power, then this growth will die in a second. It is temporary.
SV: In the event that the BJP falls short by a significant number... how will you...
MB: We will not support the BJP.
SV: Under any circumstances?