Nandigram (WB): Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today dared BJP Prime Ministerial candidate, to implement his promise of sending Bangladeshi’s packing after May 16 if his party came to power, saying that the ‘paper tiger’ should first meet the ‘Royal Bengal Tiger’.
“Touch a single person, we will see. The paper tiger should know there is a Royal Bengal tiger in Sunderbans. First you face that,” Banerjee, the Chief Minister, told an election meeting here.
Claiming that the Gujarat Chief Minister did not know history, she said that Bangladeshis came to India under a pact signed in 1971 by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Bangladesh President Sheikh Mujibur Rehman.
“He does not know that speaking in Bangla does not make one a Bangladeshi. Anyone who speaks in Bangla across India is branded a Bangladesh. This is discrimination,” she said alleging that Modi wanted to to divide Bengalis and non-Bengalis.
At a rally in Serampore on Sunday, Modi had said that Bangladeshis should be ready to pack their bags after May 16, the date of counting for the Lok Sabha elections.
She reiterated that one who did not follow secularism could not become the Prime Minister.
Banerjee also dismissed BJP President Rajanath Singh’s overture of a ‘handsome package” to West Bengal if the NDA came to power, saying she did not want it, but interest on loans being deducted by the Centre should be returned.
“We do not want a package. We do not want alms. We want return of money deducted by the Centre forcibly for the loans taken by the previous Left Front government,” she said.
She claimed that the Centre deducted Rs one lakh crore as interest from the state.
Seeking to reach out to the Trinamool Congress Rajnath Singh at an election meeting at Naihati yesterday had said that a ‘handsome package’ would be given for the development of West Bengal if his party formed the next government.
The BJP chief’s overture to Banerjee came a few days after the two parties locked horns over Narendra Modi’s attack on the TMC chief on April 27 at a poll rally in Serampore in Hooghly district. Striking out again at a section of the media, Banerjee said it was going whole hog like a ‘gas baloon’ hog to project Modi as the future PM, ignoring the good work done by the state government.
“This is because we cannot give money. They do not talk about the poor …,” she alleged while also turning her guns on the CPI(M), BJP, Congress saying she did not care if none remained with her except the people.
Banerjee who had spearheaded the Nandigram agitation against land acquisition, said “The fight of the people of Nandigram and Singur will ever remain in our memories.”
In the backdrop of the Opposition’s demand for CBI probe into the Sardha chitfund scam, she claimed it had been a failure in finding the people who went missing from Nandigram after the police firing in March 2007.
“Till now justice to the people of Nandigram has not been done. CBI is investigating. If CBI cannot do its job properly, then we will see how to ensure justice to these people,” she said.
She said that the CBI had also been a failure in tracing Nobel medallion of Rabindranath Tagore which was stolen from Santiniketan in 2004 and in the investigation into the Netai firing by CPI(M) cadres in January 2011, while the state police and CID could arrest the accused.
She was referring to the recent arrest of five accused by the CID from Hyderabad.
Predicting a big win for the TMC in the Lok Sabha elections, she said “When the ballot boxes are opened only TMC would be there.”
Banerjee claimed said that TMC would emerge as the third largest party in the Lok Sabha and within one year would spread its wings throughout the country.