West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of attempting to create a rift between Bengalis and non-Bengali communities in the state. Banerjee claimed the saffron party, which increased its tally in the state from two Lok Sabha constituencies to 18 seats, will never be able to get a majority in West Bengal.
Banerjee was addressing a crowd at a protest meeting organised by her party outside the Naihati Municipality office. “The BJP is trying to create a Bengali, non-Bengali divide in the state,” she alleged. “They want to destroy the communal harmony in the state. I hate a party like BJP. I would urge the people of this country to raise their voice against communal divide.”
The West Bengal chief minister also alleged that the police were acting on the BJP’s orders. “We will not tolerate it,” PTI quoted her as saying. “We will take action against them.” Banerjee asked party workers to form a “Banga Janani Bahini [Mother Bengal Army]” and a “Jai Hind Bahini” to counter the rise of the BJP.
At least 50 Trinamool Congress councillors from three civic bodies in the state – Kanchrapara, Halisahar and Naihati – joined the BJP on Tuesday. BJP leader Mukul Roy, whose son Shubhrangshu Roy switched to the saffron party along with the councillors and two other legislators, said defections would happen in seven phases just like seven phases of General Elections in the state.