West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that she will win the Assembly elections in the state soon and eventually aim for power in Delhi, reported PTI.
“I will win Bengal with one leg and Delhi with two legs,” Banerjee said at a public event in Chunchura in Hooghly district. Her comments were in reference to the leg injury that she sustained during an alleged attack in Nandigram on March 10. She has been in a wheelchair since then.
On Monday, the chief minister criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah saying that West Bengal will not be ruled by anyone from Gujarat. Both Shah and Modi are Gujaratis.
Elections in West Bengal are being held in eight phases. The first two phases were held on March 27 and April 1. The third phase will take place on Tuesday. Counting of votes will be held on May 2.
Banerjee also criticised the Centre over the Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh, in which 22 security personnel were killed. She alleged that the Centre, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, was not governing the country properly and was instead focusing on the West Bengal elections.
She also hit out at the Election Commission for holding the elections in eight phases, saying that the polls should have been held in a shorter period of time due to the coronavirus pandemic, reported the Hindustan Times.
“What was the need for an eight-phase election?” she asked. “It was done by BJP Mandal. Given the present situation [the coronavirus pandemic], shouldn’t they have wrapped up the election within a short period of time?”
The chief minister also claimed that the coronavirus situation was not grim in the state till now. West Bengal on Monday recorded 1,957 new cases as India reported 1,03,558 daily coronavirus cases, the most infections reported in the country in a day since the pandemic began.
Banerjee also admitted to wrongdoings by sitting TMC MLAs Tapan Majumdar and Tapan Dasgupta, who have been fielded as candidates by the ruling party. She asked voters to forgive them and give them an opportunity “as they will not do it again”.
The TMC chief also spoke about Modi calling her “didi o didi” in a tone that many consider mocking. “He does this everyday, I don’t care,” she said.
PM Modi insulting women with ‘didi o didi’ dig, says TMC
The Trinamool Congress on Sunday accused Modi of using a mocking tone to refer to Banerjee and alleged that the prime minister was insulting the women of the state, reported The Indian Express.
“Today, we are all perturbed that the prime minister and home minister of the country are not respecting their positions,” said TMC leader and state minister Shashi Panja at a press conference. “The prime minister is speaking in a leering, joking tone much of a hater of women he is.”
Panja, who is the minister of state (independent charge) for women and child development and social welfare in the state government asked if it was correct for the prime minister to call Banerjee “didi o didi” in a mocking tone. “Can a prime minister speak publicly about a chief minister in this manner?” she asked. “Why should the prime minister stoop so low that one is compelled to call him a harasser and provoker of women?”
TMC leader June Malia, who was also at the press conference, agreed with Panja. “This is not just an insult to Mamata Banerjee but to all the women of Bengal,” Malia said. “This is an insult to the concept of womanhood. For 25 years, Mamata Banerjee was an MP and also a minister several times. To date, no prime minister has insulted her the way the current prime minister has. This shows the level to which the BJP has sunk.”
TMC leader Ananya Chakraborty claimed that the TMC will have the last laugh as the party will give a proper reply through the elections. “Let me tell you the data presented by the Gujarat government in its state Assembly,” she added. “In the last two years, there have been, on a daily basis, two murders, four rapes and six abductions.”
On TMC’s allegations, BJP Mahila Morcha state president Agnimitra Paul said the chief minister should introspect about the languages she uses when talking about Modi and Shah.