'We want election to happen as we are sure to win'
Kolkata: People in Bengal will vote for the Trinamool Congress in the forthcoming Panchayat elections foiling continuous provocations and concerted efforts made by the BJP and its paid media to malign the state government, said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in an interview to a Bengali channel on Tuesday evening.
"People will vote for us because all-round development has taken place in rural Bengal. Major changes have taken place in rural Bengal and this is a reality," she said. She urged the people to vote for the Trinamool Congress for smooth completion of the ongoing projects.
Coming down heavily on the Opposition for falsely implicating the state government, she added: "Had the allegations been true, then how could the Opposition file 2 lakh candidates in the three-tier Panchayat polls."
Commenting on the incidents of violence that have taken place in different parts in the state over the filing of nominations, she alleged that since she is supporting the Federal Front, the BJP is spending money to highlight violence in the media and the party has got Ananda Bazaar as its partner just to malign Bengal. "Their sole purpose is to stall development in Bengal and portray the state as a backward one where violence is increasing," she maintained.
Banerjee argued that out of 341 blocks, trouble had taken place only in seven or eight areas and added: "We are confident of winning the election and why should Trinamool Congress indulge in violence when it is sure to win."
She said trouble has been created in a planned manner. "Armed hooligans were brought from Jharkhand to create disturbance in Mohammadbazar. ABP showed the same picture throughout the day to scare the masses and malign the state. It is the policy of the newspaper to spread canard and circulate fake news. How is it that only ABP camera crew was present when the incident took place. They are paying the hooligans and asking them to hurl bombs just to improve their TRP."
Coming down heavily on Anandabazar Partika, she said the newspaper has been circulating false news for ages. "They had written against Netaji and Shyamaprasad as well. They are anti-Bengal and Bengalees. Before the 2016 Assembly election, they had written about the alliance of the Congress and CPIM criticizing the TMC. Some of their reporters even told my voters in Bhowanipore not to vote for me. They want me to meet Rahul Gandhi and declare him as the Prime Minister. How can I do that? I was born in a poor family but I have self-respect and I will not do anything for which I have to be ashamed of myself. Ananda Bazar thinks that they are running the administration. I will request the people not to read the newspaper or see ABP news as they are full of wrong information."
Regarding who would come to power in Delhi in 2019, she said: "I am not a soothsayer but the BJP is in trouble because of its anti-people policies. The ban on high-value notes, GST, rise in the price of petrol and diesel will go against them. Also, they have failed to keep their promises. No one in the country has got Rs 15 lakh which the BJP had promised to deposit before 2014 Lok Sabha election. Their treatment of the Dalits will also go against them." She added that the Congress will do well in the forthcoming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. In Telangana, Chandrasekhar Rao will put up a tough fight. "Under BJP rule, people are not safe. Their money in the banks is not safe and because of Aadhaar, their information is no longer a secret. I have decided not to link Aadhaar number with my cell phone," she said.
About the Federal Front, she said it will be a Front with a common agenda and there is no harm if the Congress is a part of it.
Asked about the industrial scenario in Bengal she said because of false reports in Anandabazar the industrialists had neglected Bengal for all this while. But now things are looking up. In ease of doing business, Bengal is No. 1 in the country. Also in MSME the state's position is very high in the all-India ranking. She said she will go to China and then to Chicago to attend the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda's Chicago Addresses. "I will take Debashis Sen, the additional Chief Secretary along with me to visit Silicon Valley as I have proposed to set up a similar IT hub in Bengal. Many IT companies are coming to Bengal," she maintained.
Asked about her long journey from 1998 when she formed the Trinamool Congress till date, she said the success of the party is the sustained movement. "From Bikhari Paswan case to Singur and Nandigram, I had launched movements with utmost sincerity. One should be sincere."
When asked by actor Prasenjit about her amazing energy, she replied candidly: "I do half-an-hour exercise every morning and then one hour on the treadmill. I eat puffed rice, sweets and chocolates. I observe Friday when I offer puja to Santoshi Ma and take vegetarian food. On Sunday, I have my special egg ball curry. I try to maintain my weight and whenever it shows an upward trend, I control myself." She further added: "Work seriously for the people and you will get energy automatically."