Monday, February 6, 2023

If we are hit, we will retaliate: Mamata to Centre


Kolkata, Nov 22 (IANS) A day after the arrest of Trinamool Congress parliamentarian Srinjoy Bose in the Saradha scam, party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday accused the BJP-led central government of pursuing “divisive politics” and conspiring against her party.

Banerjee said she would not be cowed down by the intimidating tactics of the Bharatiya Janata Party but would retaliate, and dared the Centre to impose President’s rule in the state.

“Just because I went to Delhi to attend a conclave of secular parties, they took revenge by arresting our MP,” she said addressing party activists here.

Ridiculing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “frequent foreign visits”, she said “the man in charge of the nation… how much time has he spent in India? People who have several cases of rioting against them, how can they point fingers at us?” Banerjee asked.

“The central government is practising divisive politics. Communal violence is rising in India. A battle lies ahead. We have to keep fighting. We are not afraid of anybody. We accept the challenge.

“If we are hit, we will hit back. Don’t show us red eyes. We are not dependent on you.

“We are not slaves of power. We are not weak. We will pay them back politically for every action. They can impose Article 356 if they want,” the chief minister said, referring to the article that deals with failure of the constitutional machinery of the state, which leads to President’s rule.

“Other political leaders like (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi are silent because they are afraid. However, you cannot keep me silent. I fear no one. I cannot be silenced,” she said.

Banerjee also announced that her party would hold a rally in the city Nov 24 against the central government’s “conspiracy against Trinamool”.

Questioning the integrity of the Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) which Friday arrested Bose for his alleged complicity in the multi-crore-rupee scam, Banerjee wondered about the real motive behind the agency’s probe into the scam.

“The investigation is not about whom Saradha has duped rather it is about who all have duped Saradha. And about the CBI, I don’t have to say anything, the Supreme Court has already said enough about its credibility,” she said, asking for the reconstitution of the probe agency.

Ridiculing Modi’s ambitious “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”, Banerjee said: “First, they should look for Swachh Aadmi (person with a clean image). India needs national leaders like (Mahatma) Gandhi, Netaji. We need leaders who are inclusive.”

“Our fight against political vendetta has started. They have attacked us, we will reply politically. They want to silence all voices of dissent. They are afraid of me, hence engaging in conspiracies,” she added.

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