POLITICS
17/11/2018 10:54 AM IST | Updated 17/11/2018 10:54 AM IST

Mamata Banerjee Says BJP Chief Amit Shah’s ‘Rath Yatra’ Is ‘Ravan Yatra’

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked TMC workers to carry out "purification and unity yatras" at all places through which BJP's rath would pass.

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Mamata Banerjee at the Trinamool Congress Party meeting.

KOLKATA — West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday accused the NDA government of destroying key institutions like the CBI and RBI, and claimed that after the Lok Sabha elections, the saffron party that has made "building statues" its poll agenda will itself be reduced to a statue.

Giving a call for "BJP hatao, desh bachao", she said the BJP should be ousted from power for "failure on all fronts" and that her party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), could play a vital role in saving the country from such destructions.

Banerjee also alleged that the BJP has been on a name changing spree to suit its political interests.

"BJP is not a game changer of India as claimed by its leaders but is a name changer and danger for the country," she said.

The BJP, however, refused to attach much importance to Banerjee's remarks and said the TMC being a small party does not have the stature to take it on.

State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, "We are not bothered about what she (Banerjee) is saying against us. Her comments hardly matter to us."

Addressing a party meeting, the chief minister said, "They (the NDA government) are destroying institutions. They are trying to change the way the RBI and the CBI function."

"The party that has made 'building statues' its poll agenda will itself become a statue after the coming Lok Sabha election," she said.

Banerjee also extended her support to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu over the issue of withdrawing general consent to the CBI to exercise its authority in his state.

ALSO READ: After Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal Withdraws 'General Consent' To CBI

"What the Chandrababu Naidu government has done is absolutely right. We will also look into the rules under which it was done.

"Earlier, we didn't need to use such provisions but we need to do it now as BJP is using CBI and other agencies to pursue its own political interests and vendetta," she said.

Reacting to Banerjee's comments, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha said it only shows that the TMC leadership is "afraid" of the CBI as they are involved in corruption.

The BJP, she said, is "now left with only four agendas - mandir, NRC, statue and communal politics. After the elections they (BJP) themselves will turn into statues."

Banerjee said the TMC will contest all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal in the coming general elections and the "turning point" would be the rally of opposition parties convened by the TMC on 19 January next year.

"Most of the opposition parties have given their consent to attend the 19 January rally except one or two. We will win all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state. It is our pledge. We will oust the BJP and play a major role in saving the country.

"We are not interested in power but we know very well how to use power for the development of the people," she said.

"The BJP has crores (of rupees). We are a poor party but we will fight elections in some seats of Assam, Odisha, Jharkhand, Tripura according to our strength," Banerjee said.

The TMC can fight in some more states but does not want to eat into some other parties' votes, Banerjee said.

She alleged that the BJP is trying to tamper with at least 40 percent of the EVMs in the state, and asked her party workers and leaders to check and recheck the voter list and the machines "at least thrice".

"We have seen how EVMs malfunctioned during Maheshtala assembly bypoll," the chief minister said.

Maheshtala Assembly bypoll was held in May where the TMC won.

Banerjee mocked BJP president Amit Shah's rath yatra as "Ravan yatra" and asked TMC workers to carry out "purification and unity yatras" at all the places through which BJP's rath would pass.

BJP national secretary Sinha said TMC's purification yatra will be their final political yatra as they will be wiped out from the state in next Lok Sabha polls.

On the issue of Assam NRC, Banerjee alleged that "dirty politics" is going on in the name of publication of the final draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC) as names of genuine voters have been struck off the list.