'Will never bow down, continue to fight for democracy'
Remember, a wounded tiger is more dangerous, says TMC chief
Kolkata: In her first public rally with leg in a cast and sitting on a wheelchair, Trinamool Congress (TMC) Chairperson Mamata Banerjee—while paying homage to 14 martyrs of Nandigram—on Sunday said she would "never bow down despite being in severe pain" and continue her fight to protect the democratic rights of people.
Moving in a wheelchair during the 4.5 km long rally on Nandigram Divas from Gandhi Statue to Hazra in Kolkata amid lakhs of people, 66-year-old Banerjee—who is the only woman Chief Minister in the country presently— vowed to roam around the entire state on wheelchair "as the pain of democracy getting "strangled" was more than the 'pain of her injuries.'
"I was attacked several times. There are bruises all over my body. But, I will never bow down. Remember, a wounded tiger is more dangerous," she said.
She also tweeted before the procession. "We will continue to fight boldly! I'm still in a lot of pain, but I feel the pain of my people even more. In this fight to protect our revered land, we have suffered a lot and will suffer more but we will NEVER bow down to COWARDICE!" she tweeted.
Banerjee received severe injuries on her left leg when she was allegedly attacked at Nandigram on Wednesday barely a few hours after filing nomination as her party's candidate from the historic land of East Midnapore district.
"Doctors have advised me to be in bed rest. If I take bed rest, then those who always hatch conspiracy against Bengal will become successful. You all (the people only) have given me the strength to continue my fight despite pain due to the injuries," she said.
Lakhs of people were standing on both sides of the road to congratulate Banerjee on her comeback in "the battlefield" just within four days after the Nandigram incident. It took around an hour to cover the stretch when the crowd in the rally shouted the party's slogan—"Bangla Nijer Meye Kei Chay"— considering the fact that only Banerjee can ensure sustenance of the growth Bengal has witnessed in the past 10 years.
Trinamool Youth Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee, senior Trinamool Congress leader Firhad Hakim and the party's candidates from Assembly constituencies in Kolkata accompanied the party supremo in the procession that was organised as a mark of respect to "innocent villagers who were killed in firing at Nandigram on March 14 in 2007" while protesting against forceful acquisition of land during the Left Front regime for a chemical hub.
Banerjee addressed the gathering after reaching Hazra where she rolled her wheelchair onto the dais using a makeshift slanting ramp. Replying to a loud cheer as soon as she took the dais, Banerjee expressed her gratitude to "Maa Mati Manush" and all across the country for being worried about her health following the Nandigram incident.
Banerjee, who started the rally by paying floral homage at Gandhi Statue, appealed for peace saying that "may the unholy powers be destroyed and good prevail".
The TMC chief flew to Durgapur in a chopper after attending the rally in Kolkata. She will be holding two back-to-back meetings at Jhalda and Balarampur in Purulia. "I will start holding meetings from Purulia on Monday. Already five to six days have got wasted as you all are well aware that each and every minute is important at the time of elections," she said adding that Hazra is a historic place for her as it is the place where conspiracy was hatched to kill her.