West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday urged the voters to remove the Bharatiya Janata Party from power during the 2024 general elections, PTI reported.
“Break BJP’s prison, bring people’s government in 2024,” Banerjee said. “I can certainly say that the BJP will not get a single-party majority [in 2024], and once that happens, others will unite to form the next government.”
The Trinamool Congress chief made the remarks while addressing the party’s Martyrs’ Day rally in Kolkata – an annual flagship event held to commemorate the death of 13 persons who were killed in police firing during a Banerjee-led demonstration on July 21, 1993.
Banerjee also criticised the central government’s decision to levy the Goods and Services Tax on unbranded packaged food items and hospital rooms.
“What will people eat?” Banerjee asked. “GST on everyday items like curd, puffed rice and several other facilities like hospital beds. We ask, how much GST will you charge when we die? How much will you loot the people of India?”
From Monday, tax increases kicked in for a number of goods and services ranging from unbranded packaged food items, milk and curd, to hospital rooms with rents above Rs 5,000.
Last month, the Goods and Services Tax Council decided to rationalise rates to remove the inverted duty structure where taxes on inputs were higher than the final product. Opposition leaders had said the higher tax rates announced by the GST Council will put an additional burden on households.
During Thursday’s event, Banerjee claimed that Public Sector Undertakings in the country were shutting down due to the policies of the BJP government.
“Railways, Air India, Coal India, Civil aviation are all being closed,” she said. “Lakhs of people are losing their jobs. The BJP government has failed the nation. The PSUs which were once our strength, are being thrown into oblivion.”
She also said that the Opposition must come together to contest the general elections in 2024.
“The BJP will not get a majority in 2024 and when that happens, all the Opposition parties will have to be united and form the government,” Banerjee said, according to The Indian Express. “However, it is my belief, that we will come on top when that happens.”
The West Bengal chief minister added that her government in the state has ensured development on all fronts.
“The Centre has also recognised that Bengal tops when it comes to development in the agrarian sector,” Banerjee said at the rally. “We have ensured development on all fronts – from setting up IT hubs to making roads across the state.”
She added: “Whenever we try going ahead with developmental work, the BJP simply comes forth with its own agendas, trying to stop us. However, remember, they will never be able to stop me and my party.”