West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday condemned the police action on farmers in Haryana and said the BJP has snatched their livelihood and is trying to curb their rights.
She slammed the saffron party for “vitiating” the atmosphere of the country and said she is ready to join the farmers’ protest in Delhi and extend her support to the cause.
Ms Banerjee, who is one of the most vocal critics of BJP, slammed it as a “party of outsiders” which has no place in Bengal and said she will never allow West Bengal to be turned into a “riot-torn Gujarat”.
“What has happened there (Haryana) is very unfortunate. This is the first time that we have a central government which is trying to curb all democratic and fundamental rights.”
“The Centre cannot curb the democratic rights of the farmers. It has passed a law which is against the interests of the farmers,” she told newsmen when asked to react on the clashes between the farmers and Haryana police.
Questioning the reason behind passing of the farm bills, Ms Banerjee iterated that BJP is only interested in “one nation, one leader and one ruler”.
“The nation belongs to everyone. What was the role of BJP during the freedom struggle? The country got freedom long back. Some of your leaders have even betrayed (the freedom struggle),” she said.
The BJP was responsible for passing anti-farmer laws and farmers are angry, Ms Banerjee said adding the Centre also passed an anti-people legislation like the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill and removed essential food items like potato and onion from it.
“This is the real face of BJP. If needed I will go to Delhi to extend my support to the farmers,” she said.
Farmers from Punjab faced water cannons and broke police barriers at the state’s border with Haryana as they pushed towards the national capital Thursday in their “Delhi Chalo” march against the Centre’s farm laws.
They are demanding the repeal of the new farm laws which deregulate the sale of agriculture produce. They say the new legislation will lead to the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system.
The feisty TMC supremo slammed leaders of the saffron party for trying to turn West Bengal into Gujarat and said “BJP is a party of outsiders which has no place in Bengal”.
“Why do they want to turn our Bengal into a riot-torn place like Gujarat? We don’t want riots. Bengal is a land of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, poet Nazrul Islam, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekananda. The people of the state want to live in harmony and peace” she said.
“Those who come to the state only during elections and try to disturb the peace of the state are not at all welcome,” she told a press conference.
She also criticised the saffron party for “lying” about the delay in the construction of the Majerhat Bridge in the city and blamed the lacklustre approach of Indian Railways which delayed it by nine months.
Without naming BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, she accused him of trying to “fake” his arrest despite not being detained by the police during a protest march by the saffron party here.
“They (BJP) did not have proper permission and so the police stopped them. The police did not arrest him (Vijayvargiya) but he is faking his arrest for photo ops. This is the standard.”
“The party (BJP) has turned into a circus party and a garbage of lies,” she said.
On the nationwide strike against the policies of the central government during the day, Ms Banerjee said that though she supports the issues, she is against any form of shutdown.
Normal life was partially affected in West Bengal on Thursday due to a nationwide trade union strike during which sporadic clashes were reported in several parts of the state.
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