NEW Delhi: West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) president Mamata Banerjee on Monday expressed confidence that her party would not just retain the state in the ongoing assembly elections but would also go on to win the next Lok Sabha polls. She also reiterated that the state would not be ruled by anyone from Gujarat but by its own people.
Speaking at an election meeting in Chunchura, Mamata termed herself as a Royal Bengal Tiger and said West Bengal will not be ruled by anyone from Gujarat. She also said that she will win the 2024 parliamentary elections.
She said, “I will win Bengal with one leg and Delhi with two legs.”
Training her guns at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah, Mamata, who is seeking a third term in office, said that West Bengal will be ruled by its own people.
Mamata, who has been accused by the prime minister of showering abuses on him on different occasions in the run up to the elections, said that she does not care about Modi calling her “Didi, o didi” in a tone which some TMC women leaders have termed as sarcastic.
“He does this everyday, I don’t care,” Banerjee said.
Admitting wrongdoings by sitting TMC MLAs Tapan Majumdar and Tapan Dasgupta of Chunchura and Saptagram respectively, who have been fielded by the ruling party, the TMC supremo asked voters to forgive them and give them an opportunity “as they will not do it again”.
“We will be in big trouble if we do not win from Hooghly district,” she said.
The TMC, which had a sway over most of the 18 assembly seats in Hooghly district till the 2016 assembly polls, lost a lot of ground to the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The TMC leader said that she suffered injuries, which were allegedly inflicted on her by BJP supporters in Nandigram on March 10, to prevent her from campaigning for the West Bengal assembly polls, a make or break event for both the TMC and the BJP.
However, after going through the report of poll observers, the EC had concluded that the Nandigram incident was an accident and not a planned attack.
Criticising the Central government over Saturday’s Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh in which 22 security personnel were killed, the West Bengal chief minister accused the BJP of not governing the country properly and concentrating on West Bengal elections.
Lambasting the BJP for bringing leaders from all over the country, who “are camping in the state to win the elections”, Mamata said that the saffron party is fielding its sitting MPs for the assembly polls since it has a dearth of suitable candidates.
The BJP has nominated Locket Chatterjee, its Lok Sabha MP from Hooghly, for the Chunchura assembly seat.
Questioning the logic behind holding West Bengal assembly elections in eight phases, she said, “It could have been done in 3 or 4 phases.
“Was it not prudent to hold the elections in fewer phases and wrap it up early in view of the COVID-19 situation?” the chief minister asked.
Mamata also claimed that the coronavirus situation is not grim in the state till now.
The country recorded an all-time high of 1,03,558 coronavirus infections in a day pushing the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 1,25,89,067, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.
In West Bengal, 1,957 more people had tested positive for the infection on Sunday.
She claimed that the Centre has refused permission to the TMC government in the state to take over the closed Jessop and Dunlop Industries situated in Hooghly district, leaving thousands of employees of these two companies in the lurch.
(With agency inputs)