West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday mocked the “rath yatra” launched by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state last week, saying that it was a “five-star” bus being used by outsiders to visit the state, India Today reported. Banerjee has repeatedly labelled the saffron party as “outsiders”.
BJP National President JP Nadda had on Saturday inaugurated the “Parivartan Yatra” in West Bengal’s Nadia district, ahead of Assembly elections. He also shared a meal with some farmers.
Banerjee hit out at the BJP for doing photo-ops at the homes of poor people. “These outsiders, five-star babus roaming in big vehicles, who do not live in Bengal, are busy doing photo op at poor households with food from five-star hotels,” Banerjee said at a rally in Bardhaman district, according to the news channel. “What they show is not cooked there, they get food from five-star hotel. Are these people pro-poor?”
The West Bengal chief minister alleged that the BJP has accumulated a lot of stolen money. “If they give you money, eat mutton, but don’t vote for them,” Banerjee said.
At another rally in Murshidabad district, Banerjee said that she was like a Royal Bengal Tiger, saying that she was not weak and cannot be intimidated. “There is no reason to think I am weak, I am not a person to be afraid of anything,” the chief minister said, according to PTI. “I am a strong person and will keep my head high as long as I live and till then I will live like a Royal Bengal Tiger.”
Banerjee also accused the Narendra Modi-led government of looting the farmers and not disbursing PM Kisan funds to those in West Bengal, PTI reported. She said that the Trinamool Congress was giving Rs 5,000 each to the farmers and had also arranged for crop insurance. She claimed that farmers protesting against the Centre’s agricultural laws near Delhi were facing atrocities.
The chief minister also said that the Centre did not provide any assistance to the state to deal with the destruction caused by Cyclone Amphan and the coronavirus outbreak last year, reported PTI.
The West Bengal chief minister alleged that the BJP had turned the country into a crematorium. Banerjee said she won’t allow violence in Bengal. “Go to BJP-ruled states like Assam and Tripura, people are dying,” she was quoted as saying by India Today. “They will get people from outside and destroy Bengal. We won’t let Bengal become Gujarat.”
BJP accuses CM of creating ‘insider-outsider’ divide
Meanwhile, Nadda accused Banerjee of creating the insider-outsider divide in West Bengal, PTI reported. He made the comments while launching the second phase of the “Parivartan Yatra” from Birbhum district on Tuesday.
“The Trinamool Congress is pitting people against one another by branding them as outsiders,” Nadda said. “This is shameful. It is not the culture of the land of Swami Vivekananda and Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.”
The BJP president claimed that his party will bring about real change in West Bengal. “The TMC’s slogan of ‘Maa, Mati, Manush’ [mother, land and people] has been reduced to dictatorship, tolabaji [extortion] and appeasement”, Nadda said. “BJP would bring the ‘asol paribartan’ [real change] in Bengal.”