Sunday, 4 June, 2023

Mamata calls for another Delhi march to oust BJP govt

KOLKATA: Taking forward her sharp attack against arch-rival BJP, India’s West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee, who has been on an overnight ‘sit-in protest’ in Kolkata against the Centre’s alleged discrimination against West Bengal, called for an  aur ek dafa Delhi chalo (another march to Delhi) to oust the right-wing party from power, reports PTI.

A day before, the West Bengal Chief Minister and stormy petrel of Indian politics had in a change of stance urged all parties in the country to unitedly fight the BJP in next year’s Lok Sabha election, a departure from an earlier decision to remain equidistant from both the Congress and the saffron party.

The “ aur ek bar Delhi Chalo” call made from the feet of Dr BR Ambedkar’s statue on Kolkata’s Red Road, an obvious take on Netaji Subhas Bose’s more famous “ Delhi Chalo” clarion call delivered in Singapore 80 years ago, resounded well with her supporters, who had thronged the venue of the sit-in, in large numbers.

Mamata Banerjee had started the two-day demonstration on Wednesday noon against the Centre’s stoppage of funds to the State for MGNREGA and other schemes of the housing and public works departments.

All of us have to unite, fight against the BJP and defeat it. If needed, we will march to Delhi to protest against the Centre’s attempts to destroy the country’s federal structure and keep States ruled by non-BJP parties bereft of funds.

I was under the impression that the Union Government would communicate and inform us that it would pay our dues. But, nothing like that has happened. The BJP is running a government by the [Central] agencies and of the agencies. The party is trying to project all Opposition parties as corrupt, and itself as saint,” she said.

Stating that the 2024 Parliamentary polls will be a fight between the citizens of the country and the BJP, Mamata Banerjee had Wednesday said people across religions must unite to defeat the saffron party and save the poor of the country. She described the BJP as ‘ Dushasana’ and ‘ Duryodhana’ — the two antagonists from the epic ‘Mahabharata’.

I urge every political party in India to unite to oust this ‘ Dushasana’ BJP Government. ‘This Duryodhana’ BJP should be removed from power to save the country’s common man as well as Indian democracy, Mamata Banerjee said.

The Trinamool Congress chief also hit out at a section of State Government employees, who have been demanding enhanced Dearness Allowance (DA) on par with that of the Centre, alleging that those who had got jobs on recommendations of CPI (M) leaders during the Left regime, are trying to malign the State.

The ones who got everything from West Bengal, are now protesting against the State Government. I have asked officials to look for their recruitment files. They are taking public money and are busy in agitating,” she said.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by several TMC Aleaders, including Firhad Hakim and Aroop Biswas, at the protest site.

Draped in a white cotton saree, Mamata Banerjee is on a 30-hour sit-in protest at the city’s landmark, which is likely to end at 7:00 pm.

She was also heard singing songs with party leaders in the morning.

Kolkata has been witnessing a flurry of political activity ahead of the panchayat elections slated for this summer, which has now received a green signal from the Calcutta High Court.

The State’s political temperature has risen by a few notches with rallies by Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and TMC leader Abhishek, BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari and a march organised by the Left-Congress alliance, alongside the sit-in, which has been drawing large crowds of onlookers.