Cricketer Manoj Tiwary and several Bengali actors joined the TMC in the presence of Mamata Banerjee, at a rally in Hooghly on Wednesday. (Photo: Shashi Ghosh)
With Assembly elections approaching, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee stepped up her attack Wednesday on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, saying the “game will be on” and “if you (voters) can defeat them (BJP) in Bengal, then know that they will disappear from India”.
Addressing a rally in Hooghly, Banerjee accused the Centre of targeting women and daughters of her family. “You are entering my house and targeting young daughters and daughter-in-law who are 22-23 years old. Our daughters and daughters-in-law are all coal thieves? And what are you, roaming around with coal thieves?” she said.
Her remarks on her family being targeted come in the wake of the CBI questioning Rujira Banerjee, wife of her nephew Abhishek Banerjee, in an alleged coal pilferage case.
Urging women not to join the BJP, the Chief Minister, addressing the rally at the same venue where the Prime Minister had addressed one on February 22, said: “Today, BJP women are not safe, do not send women to that party. Many people have kept silent and cannot speak on this issue. Whereas women of our party are respected like one respects a mother… The reason why there is peace in West Bengal is that it is a land of mothers and sisters.”
Targeting the PM, she said he was flagging off rail projects that she had planned and allocated funds as Railway Minister.
“Modiji should answer why is Coal India being sold, railways being privatised, farmers are on streets,” she said.
She compared BJP leaders to “Ravan” and alleged that the BJP was neck deep in corruption and was being run from five-star hotels. “You (BJP) say the Trinamool Congress is tolabaaz (extortionist), but I say you are dangabaaz (rioter) and dhandabaaz (racketeer),” she said.
Mocking Modi and Shah, she called them “liars” and used Bengali expressions to refer to their physical attributes.
Challenging the BJP, she said: “Khela to hobei re (the game will be on). We have to correct the BJP through this game… If you (voters) can defeat them (BJP) in Bengal, then know that they will disappear from India.”
Responding to her remarks, BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said: “She is losing her hold on the ground. People of West Bengal have already decided to oust the TMC. So, what she says hardly matters to us.”