West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday dubbed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a ‘big fascist leader’ running the country as per his whims and urged people to not “waste” their votes on the Congress and the CPI(M).
She reiterated that her party, the Trinamool Congress, will play an important role in ousting Modi, and forming the new government.
Banerjee hit out at the BJP for taking out armed Ram Navami rallies at various parts of the state and accused the saffron party of trying to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of Bengal.
“A big fascist leader is running the country and claiming himself to be a ‘chowkidar’ of the masses. He has to be defeated at any cost and Trinamool will play an important role in the formation of government at the Centre,” she said at an election rally in Siliguri in support of TMC candidate Amar Singh Rai.
Claiming that her phones are being tapped, she said the BJP is curbing people’s democratic rights and every institution in the country has been undermined.
Banerjee claimed that the CPI(M) will not win a single seat in the state. “The CPI(M)-BJP-Congress have an understanding. We have seen that during the panchayat elections. Congress will also not be able to form a government on its own. Regional parties will play an important role.
“Do not waste your votes on the Congress and the CPI(M). Wherever regional parties are contesting, they must be strengthened,” she said. The CM also slammed the BJP for trying to gain political advantage by using religion as a tool to mislead people.
“BJP spreads hate and violence. They even seek votes in the name of armed forces. This is deplorable. Religion does not preach violence and hate. It stands for humanism... Whose throat do you want to slit with swords? Whose head do you want to smash with the mace?” Banerjee asked.
The TMC supremo said some BJP leaders claim that she has stopped Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja in Bengal. “Can they even recite the mantras of Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja?”
Dalits and minorities have been “persecuted” in the last five years, Banerjee said, asserting that “every” vote will ensure the defeat of Modi.
She maintained that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will not be allowed in West Bengal. “They (BJP) say that they will conduct NRC in Bengal. But, I assure you that I will not allow it in my state,” she said. Banerjee also took a jibe at the saffron party and said the TMC has fielded a ‘bhumiputra’ (son of the soil) from the Darjeeling seat, unlike the BJP, which has nominated a candidate who hails from Manipur.
“It’s sad that the BJP could not find a candidate in Darjeeling and had to bring someone from Manipur to fight the elections,” she said. West Bengal has a total of 42 Lok Sabha seats, third highest after Uttar Pradesh’s 80 and Maharashtra’s 48.