In an apparent message to the Narendra Modi-led Central government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said her Trinamool Congress was ready to cooperate with it for constructive work, but under no circumstances can it be intimidated into submission.
“If you want cooperation, we will cooperate for constructive work. But if you think you can intimidate me into submission that is not possible,” she said.
Notwithstanding the BJP having an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha, Banerjee expressed doubts whether the present dispensation would be able to complete a five-year term.
“BJP, despite the majority you may have, the sort of unjust things you are doing, the torture you are inflicting, people have doubts about whether you can run parliament for five years.”
Banerjee accused the BJP of threatening Trinamool leaders and public representatives of central agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate.
“They are straightway threatening our people that the CBI or the ED would be after them if they don’t join the BJP.”
Banerjee asserted that even if she was arrested by the CBI or the ED, she won’t leave the Trinamool.
Noting that she has seen a number of governments at the centre over the years, she said: “But Bills are being passed in Parliament without giving an opportunity for others to speak – the federal structure is being bulldozed.”
Accusing the BJP of resorting to horse-trading in Goa, Rajasthan, MP and Karnataka, Banerjee said even in her state, the saffron outfit is using money to win over MLAs.
Protesting against the union budget’s target of Rs 1.05 lakh core disinvestment, she said: “It was Khelo India before, now the BJP is saying Becho India… where 42 public sector companies will be privatised.
“I have told our trade union and party leaders to protest strongly.”
Banerjee said it was a “mystery” how the BJP got so many seats in the Lok Sabha polls, “as they had predicted”.
“The results were almost exactly as their leaders had said would happen. The EVMs were manipulated, that’s why,” she said, and demanded return of the ballot for conducting polls.
In an obvious attempt to stop factional feuds and internal squabbles in Trinamool, Banerjee said they should attend all political programmes of the party, and not wait “for being invited”.
“Forget whether somebody has called you or not, it is your right to attend political programmes.”
Banerjee alleged that panchayats were being told to take Rs 20 lakh and defect to BJP.
“An MLA told me they had offered him Rs crore plus a petrol pump. Those who accept such money will be isolated in their constituencies,” she said.
Banerjee called upon the Congress and the CPI-M to fight against the BJP. “Trinamool does not seek your support. You don’t need to support us.”
She also alleged that CPI-M miscreants who committed atrocities and murders when the Left Front was in power in the state had now switched allegiance to the BJP.
She warned that they won’t be able to save themselves from the old cases against them and asked party workers to approach the families of victims to refile the old complaints.