BJP scared of me, have set agenda to destabilise Bengal: Mamata
Kolkata: Accusing the BJP of snatching the freedom of speech, including political and economic freedom, of people of the country, Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee said that the saffron camp was 'afraid of her' and hence was using the central forces and a 'section of the media' to 'defame her' and her party in its efforts to destabilise the state.
Banerjee was addressing rallies in Behala and Hazra More on the eve of the 75th year of Independence on Sunday. "The BJP is scared of me and is trying to defame me with the help of the central agencies and a section of the media. The media trial by the vernacular television channels has reached an alarming height. If one channel shows anything, then the other moves two steps forward to defame me. Some BJP leaders hold meetings with the owners of the television channels and decide what should be shown to defame her. The owners know it very well, if they disobey them (the BJP), then they will be arrested on one ground or the other," Banerjee said.
She said that it would not be easy for the BJP to destabilise Bengal as was done in some other states. "Have you seen the Royal Bengal Tiger? Come and see," the TMC supremo thundered, asking her party workers not to be afraid.
"They want to gag us the way they have done to some other parties to ensure that no opposition force stands up in the country," Banerjee said.
"I have come to say on the eve of the Independence Day that I will die but will not be afraid... we will continue to fight against oppressive forces," she affirmed. Addressing the gathering, Banerjee reiterated that the BJP would be defeated in the 2024 elections.
"Even the BJP knows it well and so they are using the agencies to scare our leaders. We arrested some leaders from Jharkhand and CID had sent notice to a senior ED official for interrogation. To cover it up, the ED has summoned nine police officials from Bengal. Such is the political vendetta of the BJP,"she remarked.
Banerjee added: "The BJP had given a huge amount of money to the Shiv Sena leaders in Maharashtra. They were flown to Assam. It is alleged that each MLA got Rs 50 crore. Now, why is the ED or CBI silent on this issue?" she questioned. Banerjee reiterated that the BJP had taken away the freedom of speech, political and economic freedom of the people of the country. "If you criticise the BJP, you are bound to land in trouble. They want to crush all the opposition parties. So many people have cheated the banks and left the country. Why no action was taken against the persons concerned? The banks are being looted and the customers are always at the receiving ends," Banerjee said.
Without naming the RSS, she said: "Those who had never hoisted the national flag and did not support the colour of the flag are now talking about hoisting it atop buildings. We have been celebrating Independence Day since our childhood and singing patriotic songs. Are we to take lessons from them now as to where and when the National flag will have to be hoisted?"
Claiming that she was aware of plans being made against her party, Banerjee said: "Who do you want to arrest —Bobby (Firhad Hakim), Aroop Biswas ... Abhishek? And in which jails will you keep them?"
She threatened to start a 'jail bharo agitation' with her colleagues.
"Some are saying that I went to Delhi for an understanding; it was to claim our state's due that the Centre was not paying," she said, rebuffing opposition allegations that Banerjee met Prime Minister Narendra Modi after finding her party in a sticky pitch.
She said that workers are not getting wages under the NREGA scheme for the last seven months.
"I will go a thousand times if required for the interest of the state and to seek our dues," she underlined.
Lashing out at CPI(M) and Congress, she said that when Sitaram Yechury or Congress Chief Ministers attend programmes of the Centre, there is no talk of any 'setting', but when she goes for a government meeting, such allegations are made.
Banerjee vowed that with August 16 being 'Khela Hobe' divas, as declared in 2021, the game will restart again from that day with agitations, meetings and rallies.
She requested people to attend the Independence Day parade at Red Road on Monday to celebrate the country's 75th year of Independence Day.