West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that Union Home Minister Amit Shah was getting frustrated because of the poor turnout at his election rallies, and accused him of hatching a conspiracy to harass the leaders of her party, Trinamool Congress, PTI reported.
At a rally in Bankura district, Banerjee referred to the alleged attack on her in Nandigram last week and repeated her accusation that the Bharatiya Janata Party was plotting to kill her.
Banerjee was injured on March 10 while campaigning in Nandigram, where she is pitted against her former aide and BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari. She sustained severe bone injuries on her left foot and ankle as well as bruises and injuries on her shoulder, forearm and neck, according to the report prepared by the SSKM hospital in Kolkata. She was discharged from the hospital on March 12.
The Election Commission had on Sunday said that the incident was not a conspiracy and suspended the police officer in-charge of Banerjee’s security.
During the rally on Tuesday, the West Bengal chief minister asked if Shah was running the Election Commission. “He [Shah] is giving instructions to the EC,” Banerjee said, according to PTI. “What happened to their [the poll body’s] independence? My director, security [Vivek Sahay] was removed [by the EC] as per his [Shah’s] instructions.”
Banerjee accused Shah of conspiring against her instead of running the country. “Amit Shah is hatching [a] conspiracy as he has understood after witnessing poor turnout at his rallies that the saffron party is still miles away from winning the Assembly elections,” she claimed. “What do they [the BJP] want? Do they want to kill me?”
Banerjee also accused the BJP-led central government of planning to frame Trinamool Congress candidates in false cases, and using central agencies to target political rivals. “They [the BJP] are sending notices to those behind the Nandigram land movement, she said, reported PTI. “Bankura and Bengal should show the way to defeat these dictators.”
The West Bengal chief minister added that the BJP was wrong to think that it could win the Assembly election by injuring her, India Today reported. “If the BJP is thinking that they can win [the election] by breaking one of my legs, then they don’t know that I can play with just one leg,” she was quoted as saying by the news channel.
Banerjee also claimed that the people in West Bengal will lose their rights, and all the banks will close if the BJP came to power.
The West Bengal chief minister hit out at Union ministers for “shamelessly” ignoring their central duties to campaign for state elections, according to India Today. “There are so many union ministers sitting in Kolkata shamelessly,” she said. “They did not come [to West Bengal] at the time of the Covid-19 crisis, or Cyclone Amphan aftermath.” Banerjee added that she will not allow “goons” to overtake the elections.
BJP says it will bring peace, development to Bengal, criticises CM
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, while campaigning for the BJP in West Bengal on Tuesday, said that the party will play the “khela” or the game of peace and development after its victory in the election, PTI reported. He claimed that the BJP will bring about a transformation in the state.
Singh alleged that the West Bengal government had not been able to maintain law and order in the state. “Go to Uttar Pradesh or any other state where BJP is in power, there is peace,” he claimed.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath also addressed a rally in Balarampur in West Bengal, where he asserted that the Trinamool Congress government will soon be voted out of power.
“This is the land of [Swami] Vivekananda, Rabindranath [Tagore], Syama Prasad [Mookerjee] which has inspired the entire country,” Adityanath was quoted as saying by PTI. “But now it is the land of TMC-promoted goons and ‘tolabaaj’ [extortionist].”