West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday continued to campaign for the second day on a wheelchair as she appealed to voters in Purulia not to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party, NDTV reported. She referred to the injury that she sustained on her leg during last week’s visit to Nandigram and said that the public’s pain was greater than hers.
“Just wait for a few days, how long can you keep my legs broken,” Banerjee said. “My legs will turn up just fine...let me see how long you can walk on the land of Bengal. I will continue to roam around Bengal on this wheelchair. If I go on bed rest, who will reach out to the people of Bengal?”
Banerjee also claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “incompetent” and blamed him for running the country in an autocratic manner. “No other government in the world has been able to do as much work as ours [the Trinamool Congress-led West Bengal government],” she said, according to India Today. “The prime minister is incompetent, cannot run the country.”
Claiming that she had arranged for 300 trains during the countrywide lockdown to bring back migrant workers from West Bengal, Banerjee drew a comparison with the Centre and said that it had done nothing in this regard.
Banerjee also pointed out that the BJP had won from Purulia in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and asked the crowd if it had done anything since then. “Tell them this time that we know you won’t do any work,” Banerjee said, referring to both the BJP and Congress. “Tell them it is Mamatadi who will give us free ration, it is Mamatadi who will give us [health insurance scheme] Swasthya Saathi, it is Mamatadi who will give us Kanyashree [a scheme for young girls].”
The chief minister then asked people to chant slogans: “Chai na, chai na, BJP ke chai na...Congress ke chai na [We don’t want BJP and Congress]”, reported ANI.
Amit Shah takes jibe at Banerjee’s injury
Meanwhile, on Monday, speaking at a rally in Ranibandh town of West Bengal’s Bankura district, Union Home Minister Amit Shah mocked Banerjee, saying that even though he turned up late for the event due to a technical fault in his helicopter, he would not call it a “controversy”, ANI reported.
In a memorandum to the Election Commission on Banerjee’s injury, the Trinamool Congress had alleged that she was attacked in a “pre-meditated” matter and the incident was part of a “deep-rooted conspiracy”. The poll body, however, refuted claims a conspiracy and said that the incident was a result of a security lapse.
During Monday’s rally, Shah also reiterated the BJP’s allegation of the killing of 130 of its workers in the last five years due to political violence.
“Mamataji has a leg injury, it is not known how she got it,” Shah said at the rally, according to ANI. “Trinamool calls it a conspiracy, but Election Commission says it was an accident. Didi, you are roaming around in a wheelchair, concerned about your leg, but not the pain of mothers of my 130 workers who were killed.”
Ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections, which will be held in eight phases, the BJP and the TMC have been strongly campaigning against each other. The saffron party has repeatedly accused incumbent Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of corruption and not bringing development in the state. The TMC, on the other hand, has been blaming the BJP for indulging in the politics of division along communal lines.