'BJP playing with fire in name of NRC'
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led a protest rally on Thursday and warned the BJP not to play with fire in the name of NRC, also adding that she would never allow the exercise in the state.
"Those trying to divide people in the name of NRC are playing with fire. If BJP touches even one person in Bengal in the name of NRC, we will teach them a lesson," she cautioned while addressing a mammoth rally at Shyambazar on Thursday afternoon. Earlier, she took part in a walk from Sinthee More to protest against the publication of the final list of the citizens in Assam where the names of 19 lakh people including 12 lakh Hindus and one lakh Gorkhas have been dropped.
Party leaders including Firhad Hakim, Saugata Roy, Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Mala Roy, Shashi Panja, Tapas Roy and Aroop Biswas took part in the rally.
Banerjee said through the NRC, BJP is trying to divide society. "They are letting loose one community against the other. They are going to the Rajbanshis and inciting them against the Bengali Hindus and again they are inciting the Hindus against the Muslims and are thus playing divisive politics." She asked: "What happens if the Bengalis are driven out from Uttar Pradesh and the Biharis are driven out from Bengal; if a person talking in Bengali is driven out from Delhi and his counterpart talking in Hindi is driven out from Tamil Nadu. It is a dangerous situation and the whole country will be divided."
Without naming Dilip Ghosh, the state BJP president who said 2 crore people from Bengal will be dropped from the NRC list, she maintained: "Try to delete the name of two people and see the consequence. However, we will never allow NRC in Bengal. We will not allow them to divide the people on religious and caste lines."
Making a scathing attack on the saffron party for its attempt to destabilize the communal harmony of Bengal, she stated: "Bengal has always played a leading role in spreading the message of communal peace and harmony. The message of religious harmony was propagated by Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore. The Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians have lived happily and peacefully for generations. But now, some hoodlums wearing saffron headbands are trying to destroy the tradition of Bengal. They are trying to break the backbone of this state but it will not be an easy task."
Banerjee said the BJP is "playing all sorts of games" to divert the attention from the economic slowdown the country is facing. She said movements will be launched against the merger of the nationalised banks. The headquarters of two banks, namely Allahabad Bank and United Bank of India has become a victim of the bank merger. "BJP is trying to privatize the Indian Railways and Air India and has stopped the salaries of the employees of BSNL. The people of India will not accept this," she maintained.
Banerjee said BJP is trying to "stifle the voice of those criticizing its policies. The media cannot write against the Centre. They are sending the agencies against those criticizing the BJP".
The TMC chief said BJP is sending a message across the country that "only their leaders are honest and all the other leaders of other political parties are dishonest," she said and added: "Look at their party office in Delhi. It looks like a 5-star hotel."
Banerjee said only through political movements the wrongdoing of BJP can be highlighted. "I urge the youths to take part in such movements. Bengal has protested against oppression and tyranny of the British rule and will continue to do so against all the evil forces."