Mamata flags off 'BJP, Quit India' movement
Claiming that democracy and freedom were being disrupted under the Narendra Modi-led Central government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday launched a "BJP quit India" movement.
"The nation's democracy has been disrupted and people's freedom and right to live are under threat in the hands of the current Central government. That's why our slogan from today is 'BJP quit India, communalism quit India, intolerance quit India'," Banerjee said at a public rally here on the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement.
Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to divide the country, she said her party would not allow it at any cost.
"The party at the Centre is trying to divide India. They are also trying to divide Bengal for political benefits. We will not let that happen. We will not let the country to be divided," said Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress chief.
The first phase of the movement would continue till September 5, with the second phase resuming after the festive season in Bengal is over, she said.
"Meetings and rallies in support of the movement would be held at every block, village and district in West Bengal."
Accusing BJP of lynching Dalits and taking away land from the tribals in various parts of the country, Banerjee said she would keep fighting against these atrocities even in neighbouring states of Jharkhand and Bihar.
"The BJP is snatching away lands from the tribal people. They are lynching the Dalits and then pretending to get close to them by eating in a Dalit's house. This is not the way to win the heart of the Dalits," she said.
"I will be present at Lalu Prasad's Patna rally on August 27. I would also participate in the rally supporting tribal issues on August 31. Our fight against these atrocities of BJP would go on."
The Chief Minister also attacked the Centre for bad implementation of demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax, calling the initiatives "calamitous for the poor and commoners".
She claimed more than 100 people have died since the Centre scrapped old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes in November last year, while the price of essentials has been hiked many folds by levying GST.
"Who would take the responsibility of these deaths. The farmers were not able to grow crops because of demonetisation... the Centre is constantly lying," she complained.
Claiming that nearly Rs 45,000 crore were deposited in the cooperative banks after demonetisation, Banerjee claimed the Central government should announce if it is the common man's money and what are they planning to do with such huge deposits.
She also accused the Central government of stopping the supply of rationing materials like sugar and kerosene that are essential for the poor and drastically reducing the funding for Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) employees.
"They are trying to withdraw the ICDS scheme by reducing the funding. But we cannot do that. Lakhs of women from our state are employed there," she said.