Jalpaiguri: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accused the Centre of interfering in West Bengal’s jurisdiction by summoning IPS officers to serve under it and dared the union government to impose President’s Rule in the state.
The TMC supremo also lashed out at BJP for trying to convert West Bengal into riot-torn Gujarat and accused the saffron party of creating a “new religion of riot and hatred to serve its divisive politics”.
Reaching out to the politically crucial refugee population in the state, she said they need not be afraid of the implementation of National Register of Citizens, National Population Register or the Citizen Amendmengt Act as all the refugee colonies have been recognised by the West Bengal government.
“If BJP and the Centre think they can scare us by bringing in central forces and transferring state cadre officers, they are wrong. The Centre is summoning our officers. Just think of it !”, she said at a rally here.
“I dare the Centre to impose President’s Rule in Bengal,” she added.
Banerjee, a strident critic of the saffron party, iterated that BJP national president J P Nadda’s convoy was not attacked in Diamond Harbour and wondered why convicted criminals were accompanying him.
Continuing her tirade against BJP, Banerjee said “No one wanted to hurt him (Nadda) or his convoy …. Why were so many cars accompanying his convoy? Why were convicted criminals accompanying him? The goons who vandalised the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (in Kolkata) last year were accompanying Nadda … People get infuriated when they see such goons roaming free.”
TMC had dubbed as “intimidatory” the union home ministry’s order for shifting three IPS officers from the state following the mob attack on Nadda’s convoy. The West Bengal government will have the “last word” on releasing the police officers for central deputatation, it had said.
A top West Bengal government official said on Saturday that a communication had been sent to the union home ministry conveying the state’s “unwillingness to release” the officers.
Aiming to take the wind out of the sails of BJP’s refugee outreach campaign, she accused the saffron party of trying to befool them.
“BJP is trying to befool the refugees of the state just like they had done with the people of the country before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. I want to assure everyone that no one needs to be afraid of the NRC, NPR and CAA. All the refugee colonies of the state have been recognised and regularised by the state cabinet. All the refugees will get their land rights,” she said.
Calling the saffron party an outfit of “dacoits and thieves”, Banerjee said the BJP to divert attention from its failures is pointing fingers at the TMC and levelling baseless allegations.
“For BJP everybody is a thief and they are saints. The BJP is a party of dacoits and thieves,it has sent dacoits from Chambal region to terrorise people of the state. They are bringing in people from outside to terrorise Bengalis,” she said.
Banerjee has often called BJP a party of outsiders.
Referring to a recent letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on changing the national anthem, Banerjee said the people of the state will give BJP a befitting reply if it goes ahead with such a “misadventure”.
“They (NDA govt) want to change the history of our country, and now the national anthem. Bengal will give a befitting reply if they try to change the national anthem,” she said.
Referring to the long-pending issue of a separate Gorkhaland state, Banerjee said the BJP will never provide a permanent solution to the problems of the Darjeeling hills.
“Only TMC can do that”.
She said, “It is good that Bimal Gurung and his followers have understood that BJP was fooling them for the last 15 years. Whenever election comes it talks about Gorkhaland and Darjeeling but does nothing.
“I had never spoken about Gorkhaland. But I can assure you that only TMC can provide a permanent political solution to the problem of the hills. The BJP can never do that, nor is it interested in it,” the chief minister said.
In October fugitive GJM leader Bimal Gurung had quit the BJP-led NDA and joined hands with the TMC. This has provided TMC with the much needed political heft in the north Bengal region, where the ruling party failed to open its account in the eight Lok Sabha seats in the last parliamentary polls.
BJP had made deep inroads in the region and bagged seven out of the eight seats.
She urged the voters of north Bengal, which has 54 assembly seats spread across seven districts, to give a mandate against the “outsider” BJP and said it is trying to destroy the state with its “divisive politics”.
“How come BJP which came from outside won all the seats? What was our fault in the last ten years? The RSS and BJP are trying to take control over Bengal for their vested interest. They are not real Hindus. They are not Ramakrishna or Vivekananda, they only spread hatred,” the feisty TMC supremo said.
Reaching out to the SC and ST communities of the region, Banerjee said the state government has introduced schemes to provide monthly pensions to those above 60 years.
In a stern message to detractors in TMC, Banerjee said she will not tolerate anti-party activities and attempts to weaken ot before the assembly polls due in April-May 2021.
“Those who have enjoyed all benefits for the last ten years and are now trying to weaken the party will not be tolerated,” she said.
Party heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari gave up cabinet portfolios amid speculations over him joining the BJP. Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee and several other MLAs have also openly criticised a section of the party’s leadership.