West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday urged people not to waste their votes either on CPM or Congress in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections 2019. Addressing a public rally in Siliguri, Banerjee further stated earlier she was with Congress but later quit the party to form the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC), following which the state has witnessed development.
The Trinamool Congress chief said, "Both the parties are hand-in-glove and the Congress is taking help of the RSS to fight Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal". The tension between TMC and Congress reached a new level after Congress president Rahul Gandhi was denied permission to land his chopper at police ground for his proposed public meeting in Siliguri.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in Siliguri: I would request all not to vote for CPM and also please do not waste your vote by giving it to Congress. I was in Congress then quit and formed Trinamool, following which you are witnessing development pic.twitter.com/8SmVofkuGSâ€” ANI (@ANI) April 13, 2019
Gandhi was also quick to counter Mamata's argument of taking help from the RSS, saying it was the Congress which raised the Rafale issue along with the slogan 'Chowkidar Chor Hai'. The Congress chief further claimed that his party has never compromised with the BJP anywhere in the country and asked if Banerjee had ever compromised with the party in any state.
Moving on to the BJP, Banerjee further accused the ruling party of trying to gain political advantage by using religion as a tool to mislead people. She hit out at armed Ram Navami rallies taken out at BJP at various part of the state and accused BJP of trying to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of Bengal.
"The BJP is misleading the people in the name of religion. Ahead of elections they are using it as a tool to divide the masses in Bengal. The culture of Bengal never supports the politics of violence. They are taking out rallies with swords and mace," Banerjee said in Darjeeling in support of TMC candidate Amar Singh Rai.
"Whose throat do you want to slit with swords? Whose head do you want to smash with the mace? Banerjee questioned while addressing a rally in favour of party's Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat candidate Amar Singh Rai.
The chief minister reiterated that she will not allow NRC in West Bengal. "They (BJP) say that they will conduct NRC in Bengal.Â But I assure you that I will not allow it in my state," she added.
Banerjee also took a jibe at the saffron party and said she has fielded a 'bhumiputra' (son of the soil) from the Darjeeling seat, unlike the BJP, which has nominated a candidate who hails from Manipur. "Itâ€™s sad that the BJP could not find a candidate in Darjeeling and had to bring someone from Manipur to fight the election," she added.
Asserting that BJP will not return to power at the Centre, she claimed that it will not WIN seats in many states.
West Bengal has a total of 42 Lok Sabha seats, third highest after Uttar Pradeshâ€™s 80 and Maharashtraâ€™s 48. The state is scheduled to go to polls in all seven phases between April 11 and May 19. The counting of votes for all phases will be taken up on May 23.