On the eve of Independence Day, chief minister Mamata Banerjee accused the BJP of snatching the political and economic freedom of people and stood by her party strongman Anubrata Mondal, who was arrested by the CBI three days back in a cattle smuggling case, saying he was in distress for two-three years, while calling upon her party workers to hit streets from 16 August onwards in protest against the saffron party.
Miss Banerjee who had said “law will take its own course” after the arrest of former minister Partha Chatterjee today slammed the BJP over Mondol’s arrest, questioning as to why he was arrested and warned that if one Keshto (Mondal) was arrested then lakhs of Kestos will come up.
“What has Keshto (Mondal) done? He was put under strict surveillance during all elections. What will happen by keeping him behind the bars? If one Keshto is arrested then lakhs of Keshtos will come up. Keshtos are not afraid of agencies,” said Miss Banerjee while addressing an Independence Day programme in Behala.
She said that Mondal is not interested in any post and had turned down offers to become an MLA or even to join the Rajya Sabha. She pointed out Mondal’s health and family distress in the last two to three years and said that his ailing wife, who died of cancer, had asked him to leave her and assist in the panchayat polls that were being conducted at that time.
Addressing the programme which was held in the Assembly constituency of Partha Chatterjee Miss Banerjee said she had thought of skipping it today due to the weather but had later decided to attend it as else people would think she was afraid as Chatterjee was in custody. “If a person is arrested then it does not mean that he/she is guilty.
Law will take its own course,” she said while criticising the ED for summoning eight police officers of West Bengal to Delhi in connection with the coal smuggling case. Hitting out at the Opposition parties for their allegations of “Didi-Modi setting” after she met PM Narendra Modi thrice during her recent Delhi trip, Miss Banerjee claimed her visit was to place her financial demands.
“When Sitaram Yechury go to Delhi it is not setting but when I go then it is setting? We have to abide by the democratic structure and thus I have to go to Delhi to place the demands of our state. We owe a lot from the Centre and so I went to Delhi to place our demand,” she said.
Miss Banerjee alleged that the BJP was afraid of her as a result of which arrests were being made to keep her under pressure. “Now, Bobby (Firad Hakim), Arup (Biswas) will be arrested. Abhishek (Banerjee) will be arrested. They want to arrest all of us. How many people will they arrest? If needed I will undertake a ‘jail bhoro’ andolan with my workers and willingly get behind the bars. They think they can win this way.
BJP will lose in 2024 Assembly elections,” she said. She further claimed to have ended BJP’s conspiracy of toppling the Jharkhand government and had revealed that MLAs were being bought with Rs 10 crore. Miss Banerjee also invited all countrymen to share ways in which they connect with the nation. She stressed that this “sacred connection” to India unites its citizens, despite the diversity in cultures, traditions and languages.
“WE, the people of INDIA. OUR cultures, traditions, languages, attires, and customs vary. Yet, WE are ONE. OUR love for the nation binds us. OUR sacred CONNECTION to India unites us (sic),” she tweeted on Sunday. “As we gear up to celebrate India’s 75 years of independence, let us unitedly reinforce OUR CONNECTION to the motherland and pledge to protect it.
I invite you all to share your ideas! How do you connect with our glorious nation?” she wrote with the hashtag #MyIdeaForIndiaAt75. India will be commemorating its 75th year of Independence on Monday.
Meanwhile the BJP today ridiculed Trinamul Congress’ supremo Mamata Banerjee as she called for a non-stop movement against alleged misusing of Central agencies like ED and CBI as political vendetta against the TMC government, saying CM is trying to defend the party’s Birbhum distrct chief Anubrata Mondal, allegedly involved in cow smuggling racket.
“Whoever stole, he should be sent to jail. Miss Banerjee is unnecessarily defending the thieves. She should not target Central agencies but cooperate for investigation,” BJP state president and MP Sukanta Majumder said.