Mamata Pledges to “Oust BJP” At Shahid Diwas Rally in Kolkata
Mamata Banerjee has said that 18 Opposition parties are supporting her in the anti-BJP campaign.
The BJP lashed out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her proposed “Oust BJP” campaign at the Shahid Diwas rally in Kolkata on Friday. The BJP mocked Banerjee’s party Trinamool Congress (TMC) for allegedly being "reduced to a signboard" in Tripura, where it had tried to form a larger base. West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh said, as quoted by PTI:
She (Banerjee) had earlier given a ‘Modi hatao, desh bachao’ (get rid of Modi, save the country) call, but the BJP won in four more states (after that). We are ready to fight her politics of appeasement and communalism.
Banerjee, while addressing party workers at Kolkata’s annual Martyr’s Day rally on 21 July, announced that her party TMC would on 9 August launch a programme to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Banerjee said, as quoted in a report by The Indian Express:
Bengal is with Soniaji (Sonia Gandhi). We are with Nitishji (Nitish Kumar) [...] Arvind Kejriwal, Laluji (Lalu Prasad Yadav), Navinji (Navin Patnaik). We will support anyone who opposes BJP.
In her pledge to oust the ruling party at the Centre from not only Bengal but India itself, Banerjee also said, as quoted by PTI:
18 opposition parties have formed an alliance (against BJP). This platform will expand in the future.
Criticising the Centre, Banerjee said that India's relations with foreign countries had worsened under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration. The Bengal Chief Minister also claimed that the Centre was not allowing state governments to work. “We are not its servants,” said Banerjee at Friday’s rally.
Every year on 21 July, the Martyr’s Day Rally is held in Kolkata in remembrance of the police firing which took place on that day in 1993, causing the death of at least 13 members of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC).
On that day, 24 years ago, Banerjee, had led the IYC’s Bengal unit to the State Secretariat, rallying for photo voter identity cards to be made compulsory to ensure fair elections. However, the Kolkata police had intercepted the party about a kilometre away from the Secretariat, at Kolkata’s Esplanade area and opened fire.
(With inputs from PTI)
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