At a massive rally in the heart of Kolkata, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announcing “BJP hatao, desh bachao” (Remove BJP, save nation) campaign starting 15 August.
Her announcement came on the day former Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader Chandan Mitra, former CPI(M) MP Moinul Hasan, Congress’s Sabina Yasmin and Mizoram advocate-general Biswajit Deb joined Trinamool Congress (TMC).
Just a few months before the nation heads to polls for the 17th Lok Sabha, the TMC chief addressed a political gathering near Shahid Minar in Dharmatala in which she accused the BJP of creating fissures in India’s secular fabric, ignoring the plight of farmers, failing to create employment for the youth, and failing to check rising atrocities against Dalits and minorities.
Banerjee, who is trying to form a mega alliance of all political parties ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, also said that the Congress will have to choose whether to take TMC’s support in Delhi or continue supporting BJP in West Bengal.
The 63-year-old Banerjee accused the BJP of looting the nation and held the saffron party responsible for the rising attacks on minorities by fundamentalist Hindus.
“BJP has looted the nation. Hindustan has to be saved. It has to be turned into a success story,” the TMC supremo said at the party-organised ‘Shahid Dibas’ commemorating the killing of 13 workers of Congress in 1993 by the then Left-front government. Banerjee was then a member of the Congress party.
Attacking the party led by Amit Shah over Hindutva, Banerjee said that the saffron party preaches Talibani Hinduism.
“What Hinduism does the BJP preaches? Talibani Hindu? Are not Swami Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda Hindus? We do not accept the Hindutva of BJP. We have our own Hindutva,” said Banerjee adding that meaning of Hindu is tyag (sacrifice).
“Your Hinduism is ‘Talwar’ (sword) Hinduism, ‘gun’ Hinduism. This is an insult of Hindus and Hinduism. We have rulers crueller than Hitler and Mussolini,” thundered Banerjee in the presence of most of the top names of the party leadership.
The 63-year-old Bengal CM exhorted her supporters to break the religious extremism and the lootera raaj propagated by the BJP.
In what was clearly a campaign rally ahead of 2019, Banerjee asked her ministers and party workers to solve the issues of the poor, the farmers and the youth.
“We have to listen to the problems of minorities and Dalits and try to solve them,” she said.
Banerjee said that the TMC workers must extend their help to everyone facing oppression in every state of the country while taking names of states ruled by the BJP or the party’s allies such as Manipur, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.
“I assure all of you that we, TMC, will work for you,” she said.
Slamming the BJP for interfering with the judiciary, the press and other institutions of the country, Banerjee said that the saffron party has created a constitutional crisis and a crisis of secularism.
Commenting on the no-confidence motion passed in the lower house of Parliament on Friday, Banerjee pointed out that even though the BJP may have won many of its allies had deserted the party.
“TDP was your ally, it presented no-confidence motion; Shiv Sena was your ally, it abstained from voting in your favour. The BJD and many others stayed away from supporting you,” she said.