‘We don’t care about the chair…BJP can’t be tolerated…has crossed all limits,’ Mamata Banerjee at Martyrs’ Day rally

2024 polls. Image credit: Photo: Avishek Mitra/IBNS

By Souvik Ghosh


Kolkata/IBNS: In her last Martyrs’ Day rally ahead of 2024 General Elections, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday peddled the newly formed anti-Modi national alliance ‘INDIA’ to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claiming she is not in the race for prime ministership.

Speaking at her Trinamool Congress’ annual mega political event in downtown Kolkata, Mamata said, “I am happy that we could create an inclusive alliance in the name of INDIA ahead of the 2024 General Elections. All political battles in the country will be fought under the banner of INDIA.

“We don’t care about the chair, but want BJP to be ousted from power. BJP can’t be tolerated anymore because it has crossed all limits,” she said.

Photo: Avishek Mitra/IBNS Photo: Avishek Mitra/IBNS

Mamata’s rally came just a few days after 26 anti-BJP parties formed the opposition alliance to deny Prime Minister Narendra Modi a straight third term in the coming year.

However, the local Left and Congress leaders have cleared they will have no alliance with TMC in West Bengal despite the top brass’ hobnobbing with Mamata and an attempt to iron out the state-level differences.

Mamata slams Modi over ‘Manipur’ incident

Mamata, the only woman Chief Minister of the country, slammed Modi and his BJP over the recent incident in Manipur where a viral video in early May showed two women were paraded naked on road.

Despite Modi’s strong response to the incident outside Parliament on Thursday, Mamata on Friday said, “BJP is planning to make fake videos and defame Bengal. This is evident in the Prime Minister’s speech where he referred to West Bengal, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh while referring to Manipur.

“I just ask the Prime Minister whether he is not even remotely sad over the incident in Manipur? He keeps on dictating over Bengal but has no love for women and their integrity in Manipur.”

Photo: Avishek Mitra/IBNS Photo: Avishek Mitra/IBNS

Mamata has even contacted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as they plan to lead a delegation of CMs to Manipur, the ethnic-clash ridden northeastern state of India.

“I have talked to Arvind (Kejriwal). We, a team of CMs of the country, may visit Manipur,” she said.

Mamata attacks Left over panchayat poll violence

Though reportedly over 40 people were killed in the recently concluded panchayat polls, which saw TMC’s absolute dominance in terms of results, Mamata blamed the presently politically weak Communists for the violence.

The Chief Minister, who had earlier claimed the 2023 panchayat polls were largely peaceful, said, “In 2003, how many people were killed during the regime of Buddhadeb Bhattacharya? The figure was 89 including 49 only on the polling day. The problem in panchayat polls is often members of a single family contesting polls. This is a societal problem.

“This is why there are many apolitical panchayats as well. But we haven’t established political panchayats. It was established during the CPI-M rule and we are carrying it forward. Since the elections were declared this year, a total of 29 people, including 18 from TMC supporters, were killed. So who killed them? How can TMC people kill each other?”

Photo: Avishek Mitra/IBNS Photo: Avishek Mitra/IBNS

Mamata’s ‘Khela Hobe’ scheme

In a double strike, Mamata tried to corner BJP over the Centre’s alleged delay in disbursing funds for the MGNREGA (100-days work) scheme.

The TMC supremo announced a protest on Gandhi Jayanti in Delhi against the Modi government if funds are not cleared.

In a bid to reach out to the voters from the marginalised section ahead of the 2024 General Elections, Mamata launched a state-run MGNREGA-like scheme, naming it after her party’s favourite slogan ‘Khela Hobe’, for all “job card holders”.

What is the Martyrs’ Day rally?

On this day in 1993, 13 people were shot by police during the Left Front regime when then Congress youth leader Mamata Banerjee was leading a rally demanding that identity cards be made mandatory to cast votes.

(Photos: Avishek Mitra/IBNS)