21 July 2019
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday accused the BJP-led Central government of trying to prevent Trinamool Congress supporters from coming to its 'Matryrs' Day' rally by cancelling several trains to Kolkata.
She also charged the saffron party activists with forcefully stopping and vandalising many buses carrying Trinamool activists to Kolkata from the districts and said her party would hold protest rallies at those locations on Monday.
"BJP is in power at the Centre. They control the railways. I have got the information that many trains have been cancelled today (Sunday) so that people from far-off districts and north Bengal cannot come to our rally," Banerjee alleged while speaking at the 26th edition of her party's Martyrs' Day rally in central Kolkata's Esplanade.
"BJP has started attacking our people after winning only a handful of seats in the Lok Sabha elections. I have got the news that they vandalised buses and beat up our workers at Hooghly's Gurap and Midnapore's Patashpur. Trinamool will hold counter rallies against this violence in all those places tomorrow," she said.
Accusing the BJP leaders of threatening to pull Trinamool workers off buses on the way to the rally, Banerjee questioned whether the BJP would be able to handle the situation if Trinamool supporters and common people start paying them back in their own coin.
Referring to the ongoing political violence in West Bengal's Bhatpara since the 2019 polls, Banerjee said the place is a prime example of how the situation could turn hostile if people vote for the BJP.
"Look at Bhatpara. See what happens if people vote for BJP. Schools, colleges, factories, markets are closed. Such a situation had never occurred since Trinamool came to power. Not a single Panchayat office (of opposition parties) was attacked, no one was boycotted for supporting another party because we wanted change, not revenge," Banerjee claimed.
Sticking to her claims that the 2019 elections were rigged by the BJP, she said the saffron party managed to win 18 Lok sabha seats in Bengal by manipulating electronic voting machines (EVMs), misusing the Election Commission and the Central forces, as well as intimidating people.
She said her party had never reacted in such a hostile manner as the BJP even after winning 26 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal in the 2009 general elections when the Left was in power in the state.
Alleging that the BJP leaders in the state had no understanding of the cultural ethos of Bengal, she said the saffron party was trying to capture power by bringing in leaders from other states and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) "miscreants".
She also urged her party workers to keep an eye on the movement of "outsiders" in their localities and prevent them from misguiding people.