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26 Apr 2017

Mamata: Shun 'divisive' BJP

Main Uddin Chisti, TT, Cooch Behar, April 25: Mamata Banerjee today urged people not to join or support the BJP, accusing the party of "thriving on polarisation, division and riots".
"I request you humbly, whatever you do, do not side with the BJP. Please.... It is a party that divides people, creates riots, causes problems, encourages fights and clashes between people," she told a rally in Cooch Behar town this afternoon.
"They are not Hindus, they only sully the reputation of Hinduism for their dirty politics.... We are the party of Ma-Mati-Manus.
Sources in Trinamul said Mamata's appeal to the people indicated that she was aware of the BJP's efforts towards becoming the principal Opposition in the state.
"Slowly and steadily, some degree of polarisation seems to be taking roots in Bengal. The Uttar Pradesh victory has made the BJP very, very confident in Bengal. She knows that the BJP and allied organisations have been working day in and day out at the grassroots," a Trinamul leader said.
"Left unchecked, the BJP could become our principal competitor over the next few years. Her appeal is timely. It also gives us hope because she will not stay complacent with such appeals and will do the necessary work," he added.
At the Cooch Behar rally, Mamata reached out to Rajbangshis, Kamtapuris and the Hindi speakers of the region, asking them to demand from her what they needed instead of siding with the BJP.
"My Rajbangshi siblings, my Kamtapuri siblings, by Hindi-speaking siblings.... Come and tell me directly what you need. Even if we have just one roti between us, we will share equally and fill our stomach," she said.
The Rajbangshis make up over half of Cooch Behar's population and the BJP has been trying to wean them away to widen its support base in north Bengal.
"Do not go with the BJP. Whoever has sided with them has inevitably regretted it.... Let's all work together for mutual prosperity and happiness, instead," she said.
At another public meeting an hour later, Mamata continued with her diatribe against the BJP, referring to the Centre's move to have a unique identification numbering system, similar to Aadhaar, for cows.
"I woke up this morning, read the newspapers and was astonished. Now cows need Aadhaar cards. Then what cards will be needed for children who drink the cow's milk? What next? Aadhaar for goats, buffaloes, fish, chicken, ducks, plants?" Mamata asked.
"They won't do anything to help ease lives, but will always find ways to create unnecessary complications when none is necessary," she added.

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