Daspur: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his beard, saying its growth is inversely proportional to the state of economy.
The TMC supremo, who is contesting assembly election from the high-profile Nandigram seat in Purba Medinipur district, said she will stay put there till the end of polling in the constituency on April 1 as the BJP may “loot votes by using goons from other states”.
She also warned TMC workers against complacency.
“India’s economy has gone for a toss. There is no industrial growth. There is no growth except for the beard of Narendra Modiji. At times he dresses like Rabindranath Tagore and at time likes Mahatma Gandhi,” she said mocking the prime minister.
Banerjee said, “The day is not far when the entire country will be sold and named after Narendra Modi … BJP is trying to throttle democracy.”
“As we (opposition parties) are all busy with assembly elections in five states, the BJP government is passing laws to usurp the constitutional powers of the elected government in Delhi by giving more powers to the lieutenant governor.
This is shameful,” she said.
Recounting the cancellation of the visa of Bangladeshi actor Firdaus after he campaigned for her party in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Banerjee said the US should scrap Modi’s visa for “campaigning for former president Donald Trump”.
“Have you forgotten the slogan ‘Abki Bar Trump Sarkar’?” she asked.
Donald Trump’s campaign, in a bid to woo the influential Indian-American voters in the US presidential election, had launched a video containing clips of Modi’s speeches and former US president’s address in Ahmedabad.
The TMC supremo, who held three poll rallies in Paschim Medinipur district during the day, claimed that BJP has “hired goons to threaten people”.
“These goons might visit households and ask women with folded hands to vote for them or face the threat of being herded out,” she said.
“Don’t be overconfident or complacent. BJP is the biggest fraud and janjal (deceitful) party. It can go to any extent to win the elections at any cost. Your duty is not over even after the voting gets over. You have to guard the EVMs,” Banerjee told TMC workers at a rally in Daspur.
She alleged that police personnel from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, where the BJP is in power, were being brought to West Bengal to rig the polls.
“They (police personnel) will act in favour of BJP. If you sense anything amiss, rise in protest. Mothers and sisters should take the lead in such protests if you see any illegal activity,” she said.
“Be ready with utensils and broomsticks to chase away such elements if they issue a threat,” Banerjee told women at the meeting.
She said some such people from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were arrested from Nandigram area on Thursday night.
“They (BJP) think they can rig the polls. We will not allow that to happen. I will stay put in Nandigram from March 28 till the elections are over there. I will myself see how they loot votes,” she asserted.
The BJP has hired “borgis from outside to loot votes”.
Borgis were a category of Maratha empire’s troops who indulged in large-scale plunder during expeditions in Bengal in the 18th century.
Alleging that EVMs could be tampered with to help the BJP win the election, Banerjee asked TMC polling agents to check them twice on polling days and guard them till May 2 when the votes will be counted.
“If members of the central forces ask you to leave, tell them that you respect them, but they should not work for Modiji,” she said.
The eight-phase election to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly begins on March 27.