Elections

Mamata on a campaign-spree against BJP

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on May 16, 2019 Published on May 16, 2019

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (file photo)

 

Faced with relentless attacks by BJP and sudden ban on campaigning, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee assumed her street-fighter avatar as she went on a campaign blitzkrieg on Thursday. She lined up two mega public rallies — one in Mathurapur and another at Diamond Harbour — and roadshowsin Jadavpur and Joka as she sought to take on the BJP.

Roashows have been a way of Banerjee to gauge public support and her popularity.

Also read: Bengal not Mamata’s personal property, says PM

Thursday is the last day of campaigning in West Bengal. Campaigning across nine Constituencies — Kolkata North, Kolkata South, Dum Dum, Jadavpur, Barasat, Diamond Harbour, Mathurapur, Joynagar and Basirhat— was cut short by a day by the Election Commission in view of violence at BJP President Amit Shah’s roadshow on Wednesday. Mamata alleged that the EC is toeing the BJP line by allowing the Prime Minister’s rally, while cutting short campaigns of Opposition parties.

Mobilising support

Mamata attacked Modi in her rallies. She accused him of fomenting violence in the State and alleged that the BJP was trying to incite riots by circulating false videos. “Do not step into their trap. They are circulating fake images to foment trouble here,” she said.

The Chief Minister called for mobilising the people in order to “protect their homes from outsiders”. She alleged that the CRPF personnel were being used to intimidate voters to vote for the BJP. “Protest strongly if they intimidate you or try to influence your choice,” Banerjee said.

This sort of public appeal and mobilisation through rallies had been her hall-mark during her days in the opposition.

Threatens arrest

At her her public rallies, Mamata also instructed the police to take action against those who were giving their land for the Prime Minister’s public meetings. In Mathurapur, 60 km from Kolkata, she waved a bunch of papers and alleged that these were “incriminating documents” against the people who had given their land for PM Modi’s rally. These people, she claimed, were involved in illegal money deposit schemes. “I ask the local police to take action against these people. I got the documents yesterday (Wednesday) and am handing them over to the district administration for action,” she said.

A section of political analysts opined claimed that Banerjee was actually intimidating BJP supporters in the region.

Also read: Mamata rejects PM Modi’s offer to install new bust of Vidyasagar

In fact,Banerjee said that “she will arrest” those involved in desecrating of the statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at college in Kolkata. The statue was vandalised during violent clashes between BJP workers and students’ wing of the TMC at Amit Shah’s road show.

 

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Published on May 16, 2019
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