Kolkata (West Bengal): Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Abhishek Banerjee exuded confidence that his aunt and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will secure a two-thirds majority in the ongoing Assembly elections.
After casting his vote in Bhowanipore, Abhishek Banerjee told the media: "From whatever little I have gathered from my own experience and wisdom, I am extremely confident that Mamata Banerjee is going to come back with a two-thirds majority. We have complete faith in the people."
Speaking on the worsening COVID-19 situation in India, the TMC leader said: "It is not about West Bengal. We have seen a second wave and a spike in the entire country but the unfortunate thing is, when we see the sad state of affairs in the country, despite knowing that a second wave could happen, the leaders, the Prime Minister and the Central government should have rolled up their sleeves and pulled up their socks."
"They should have been prepared to face the situation where the oxygen is being diverted. 9,000 MTs of oxygen has been exported in one financial year to different countries, you have sent testing kits to different countries. We have not gone for a proper vaccination drive," he added.
Abhishek Banerjee further remarked that the export of vaccines outside the country has kept the people ignored and apart from the benefits of the Centre, adding that COVID-19 has exposed the crumbling healthcare system of India.
"Instead of working for the people, the Central government in the last 6-7 months, including the leaders of the BJP, were been busy buying and purchasing MLAs, stopping the governments, fighting elections in different states. They were busy campaigning in Bihar, then they came in Bengal. Their only motive is to serve their political interests," he further mentioned.
The TMC leader expressed confidence that the people of West Bengal will give a befitting reply to the BJP in the ongoing elections.
He also lambasted the Election Commission (EC) for holding the Bengal elections in eight phases for 'the benefit of one political party', claiming it has added to the struggles of the public and endangered them.
"This role of EC has never been seen before by the people of India. This is highly unfortunate. Why should rallies be held with 500 people, they should also be closed down," he said.
Meanwhile, voting in 34 constituencies spread across five districts of West Bengal began at 7 am on Monday for the seventh and penultimate phase of the Assembly elections.
A total of 268 candidates, including 37 women are in the fray in this phase of the West Bengal elections. The phase will witness an intense battle in six constituencies in Dakshin Dinajpur, six in Malda, nine in Murshidabad, nine in Paschim Bardhaman and four in Kolkata.
Polling for the eighth and final phase will be held on April 29 while the counting of votes will take place on May 2.