Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday complained that the BJP government in New Delhi was misusing Central investigative agencies to threaten her MPs, MLAs and other party leaders.
“A while back Shatabdi (Trinamul MP) told me that the Enforcement Directorate had summoned her again. She is not alone, however. Prosenjit and Rituparna (actors) have been called also along with others. Many more are there. Calling them, they are told to contact some BJP leaders. They are threatened with arrest if they do not follow (what they are told). I know of a person, who is under arrest now, who has been asked to take the name of an influential politician to implicate him,” the Trinamul supremo said at the 26th anniversary of the mega Shaheed Divas (martyrs’ day) rally organised by her party in remembrance of the kil-ling of 13 Youth Congress workers in the police firing on July 21, 1993 during Left rule when she was still in the Congress.
This was the first major political rally she has addressed since the Lok Sabha results were declared.
Rubbishing the prospe-ct of an end to her rule in the next Assembly elections in the state in 2021, Ms Banerjee on Sunday challenged the BJP to fight like she had done against the CPM regime for 34 years before dreaming of coming to power in the state.
She, however, described the BJP’s second consecutive Lok Sabha poll victory as “a mystery, not a history”, which she admitted she had so far failed to unearth.
“Why did we come to power in 2011? Because we had fought for 34 years. So the BJP, go and fight for 34 years first. Then you may dream of coming to power in Bengal,” she said.
Belittling the BJP’s win in 18 seats against her party’s tally of 22 in the Lok Sabha polls in the state, she made it clear that the Trinamul would not cease to exist despite the saffron surge, while accusing the BJP of luring her party’s MLAs with money and property for defection by each. “The Trinamul is not a party to go away. It keeps coming. Recently, an MLA of our party from North Bengal met me. I asked him whether he had joined the BJP,” Ms Banerjee added.
She told the rally: “He confessed to me of getting an offer from the BJP of Rs 2 crores and a petrol pump. I wanted to know if he was still waiting for a better bargain. Do not go leave the party if someone offers you Rs 2 crore and a petrol pump. If you accept the offer, you will lose because the money is ill-gotten. Down with horse-trading.”
Launching her battle for political survival in the state, Ms Banerjee also instructed the Trinamul rank and file to reach out to their CPM and Congress counterparts to thwart the rise of the BJP.
Plagued by the BJP’s pressure on her government by using her “Return Cut-Money” order to all Trinamul leaders, the West Bengal Chief Minister announced she would kickstart a counter-movement “Return Black Money” against the saffron party at the Centre on July 26-27. She reiterated her demand for the replacement of EVMs with ballot papers in the next election.
“I still believe that the 2019 election is a mystery. I do not know how it happened. It is not a history. It is a mystery,” the Trinamul president stressed....