'Will continue to fight against BJP till its 'Taliban' rule ends at Centre'
KOLKATA: Mamata Banerjee, Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate from Bhowanipore by-election, on Wednesday said the party would continue to fight against the BJP till the saffron party is ousted from the Centre.
"We will continue to fight against the BJP till this 'Taliban' rule at the Centre comes to an end. They are letting loose the Central agencies and trying to scare us. I have fought against 34 years of CPI(M) misrule and during this time, I was beaten up more than once and even there was an attempt on my life. I will continue to fight against the tyrannical rule of BJP," she said while addressing two street corner meetings at Chetla and Khidderpore.
Slamming the Tripura government, Banerjee said: "Our workers are getting beaten up in Tripura and Abhishek is not allowed to hold a rally there. The government has clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC, imposing a ban on political rallies and gatherings till November 4, so, will the government then put restrictions to hold Durga Puja as it is not possible to organise the festival with less than four persons," she said, adding "BJP has spread lies that Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja are not being allowed in Bengal. We celebrate all festivals here — Durga Puja, Kali Puja, Chhath Puja, Eid, Christmas, Guru Nanak's birthday — with a lot of respect. Bhowanipore is a mini India where people from different communities have been living peacefully and happily for generations," she said.
Coming down heavily on the BJP-ruled states, she said: "The government of Uttar Pradesh and Assam did not allow Trinamool leaders when they had gone to Hathras to meet the family members of the ill-fated girl who was raped and later murdered. TMC leaders who had gone to Assam to protest against NRC were not allowed to step outside the Guwahati airport. But in Bengal such steps have never been taken," she maintained.
She urged the voters to go to the polling stations and cast their vote on September 30 even if there is rain. "Every vote is precious. If you want me to carry on as the Chief Minister, then go to the polling stations and exercise your franchise. Trinamool has a majority but if you do not vote because of complacency, then that will be a grievous mistake." She advised the voters to maintain calm and never fall into the trap of BJP. "They will try to create trouble to cancel the election but we want an election. So, maintain your cool and cast your vote on September 30," she said.
Criticising Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Petroleum minister who is campaigning for the BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal, she said: "When the prices of essential commodities along with cooking gas, petrol and diesel have skyrocketed, making the lives of the middle-class miserable, the minister has come to beg for votes by making false promises and lies."
Meanwhile, religious leaders on Wednesday prayed for the victory of Banerjee in the by-election. "There is no doubt that a lot of development (irrespective of religion, caste and creed) has taken place during the past 10 years. The present government is secular and always maintains communal harmony. That is why different religious leaders of different faiths came together at Kolkata Press Club and prayed for Mamata's victory," said Bodijyoti Bhikkhu, a Buddhist monk of Tollygunge Buddha Sambodhi. Not mentioning the name of any party, Md Yahiya, chairman of Bengal Imams Association, said: "Before voting for any party, people should think thoroughly which party is secular and then cast their vote."