West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday termed the Bharatiya Janata Party as a “party of outsiders” and that she would not allow it to “incite violence” in the state, PTI reported.
“There is no place for outsiders in Bengal,” she said. “Those who come to the state only during elections and try to disturb peace of the state are not at all welcome.”
Assembly elections in West Bengal are expected to take place in April-May next year.
The chief minister, while addressing a press conference also took exception to the saffron party’s comparison of West Bengal to the BJP-ruled Gujarat.
“They [BJP] are saying they will convert West Bengal into Gujarat,” Banerjee said, according to PTI. “Why do they want to turn our Bengal into a riot-torn place like Gujarat?”
She also attacked Union Home Minister Amit Shah, questioning his involvement in elections despite the prevailing tensions at the country’s borders.
The BJP and Trinamool Congress have engaged in sharp exchange of words recently, in the lead up to the state elections next year. At a rally on Wednesday, Banerjee had accused the BJP of trying to bribe Trinamool MLAs to come into its folds.
On Thursday, the BJP’s state unit chief Dilip Ghosh said that there was no need to offer Trinamool legislators money, as they did not lack any, reported NDTV. “Look at the houses and cars of the TMC [Trinamool Congres] leaders, can you say they are selfless?” Ghosh asked. “The TMC MLAs don’t lack money, we have nothing to offer them.”