Midnapore (WB), December 7: Accusing the BJP of practising “divisive politics for its personal gains”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said the state, where all communities have long lived in harmony, would “never bow its head before the murderers of Mahatma Gandhi”.
Banerjee, while addressing a rally in West Midnapore, slammed the BJP government at the Centre for its “arrogance and indifference” towards the plight of farmers, who had been protesting against the newly enacted agriculture laws.
She contended that the central government should immediately withdraw the “anti-people” farm laws or step down.
The feisty TMC boss claimed that she would rather stay in jail than “remain silent or put up with BJP’s misrule”.
“We don’t believe in Bengali-non-Bengali politics.
Both are our brothers and sisters. We also don’t believe in Hindu-Muslim politics, like the BJP.
“The state has a long history of all communities living in harmony. The people of the state would never bow their heads before those who murdered Mahatma Gandhi,” she said, without taking any name.
Iterating that the BJP was a party of “outsiders”, Banerjee said she would never allow the saffron camp to take control of Bengal, and urged the people of the state to resist any such attempt.
“If goons from outside come to our state and terrorise you, all of you should put up a united fight against them. We believe in peace. We won’t allow them to have a free run here.
We will never allow outsiders to take control of the state,” the chief minister maintained.
Pledging her government’s support to the farmers’ agitation over the new agriculture laws, she said the BJP-led government at the Centre “should no longer continue to remain in power after sacrificing the rights of the farmers”.
She claimed that the saffron party was trying to malign her government and its welfare programmes.
“No matter what developmental work we do, they (BJP) will always try to malign us. But what about the Rafale scam? What about the PM CARES fund? The Centre should publish a white paper on the amount of money the PM CARES Fund has received so far,” she said.
Alleging that the saffron party “threatens its opposition leaders and sends them to prison”, Banerjee said, “I am not afraid of going to jail. I would prefer going to prison to compromising with the misrule of the BJP”.
Taking potshots at the CPI(M), Banerjee said, “Earlier, the CPI(M)had unleashed a reign of terror in West Midnapore. Several people were killed and were rendered homeless by CPI(M) goons. People didn’t dare to come out of their homes then.”
“Junglemahal is at peace now. The guns of Maoists have fallen silent. CPI(M) goons have switched over to the BJP.
Only the colour has changed,” she said.
Exuding confidence of returning to power for the third consecutive time with a bigger mandate, Banerjee said the saffron camp and the CPI(M) will suffer a severe drubbing in the next assembly polls.
The CM announced that her government would continue to dole out free ration beyond June next year after her party returns to power for the third consecutive time.
The BJP has made deep inroads into Junglemahal — comprising parts of West Midnapore, Jhargram, Bankura and Purulia — during the last Lok Sabha polls, bagging five of the six parliamentary seats in the area.
Elections to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly are likely to be held in April-May next year. (PTI)