West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be left all by herself by the time Assembly elections take place in the state, Union Home Minister Amit Shah claimed on Sunday. He was referring to the recent spate of defections from the Trinamool Congress.
“Ten years ago when Mamata Banerjee fought against the communists, she raised the slogan of Maa, Maati, Manush [mother, land, people],” Shah said. “But that slogan has now disappeared. The manner in which leaders of Trinamool and other parties are joining the BJP, Didi [Banerjee] will be left alone by the time elections are held.” The Bharatiya Janata Party leader was virtually addressing a public rally held in West Bengal’s Howrah district.
Shah’s comment referred to the turmoil in Trinamool Congress, which has seen several of its leaders, including Cabinet ministers, joining the saffron party, in the lead up to the Assembly elections, which are expected to be held in April-May.
On Saturday, former West Bengal minister Rajib Banerjee joined the BJP in Delhi, a day after quitting the Trinamool Congress. Five other leaders of the Trinamool, including MLAs Prabir Ghosal and Baishali Dalmiya also switched camps, in the presence of Shah. The dominoes within Trinamool began to fall after former state minister and a close associate of Mamata Banerjee, Suvendu Adhikari, quit the party in December. After a long drawn period of public dissatisfaction with the ruling TMC, Adhikari joined the BJP, along with six other party MLAs.
Shah also claimed that people were leaving Banerjee’s party because of her “misrule, corruption and nepotism”.
“Mamata Banerjee should reflect on why so many Trinamool Congress leaders are joining the BJP,” he said, according to PTI. “It is because she has failed the people of the state.” Shah was supposed to address Sunday’s rally in person as part of a two-day visit to the state. However, he cancelled his plans on Friday, following a low-intensity blast near the Israel embassy in Delhi.