West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee mocked a disunited opposition in the state on Tuesday and promised a bigger victory in the 2016 polls but steered clear of any direct attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
At a mammoth rally in the heart of Kolkata to mark the death of 13 people in a notorious 1993 police firing, Banerjee attacked a slew of central government welfare policies and took on the BJP, calling it a party of rioters.
“Please strike an alliance among yourselves and come to the fight... We will produce still produce a record-breaking victory in 2016. The more you challenge us, the more seats you will lose,” she told a crowd of about 500,000 people at the so-called Martyr’s Day event.
“They (the opposition) have no room in Bengal. In future they will have none in the country too.”
Sudip Bandyopadhyay, leader of the Trinamool Congress parliamentary party, said they may even surpass the 250-seat mark figure in the 294-member assembly. “It will be bhaag BJP bhaag, bhaag CPM bhaag, bhaag Congress bhaag in next year’s assembly polls,” he said.
The annual rally comes at a time when Banerjee is riding high on a string of recent poll victories, overcoming the fallout of the multi-crore Saradha scam.“In the next five years we will make Bengal the best state in the country,” she told cheering supporters.
The CM also launched an offensive on the BJP, saying it was a party of corruption but was silent on Modi, whom she had famously once threatened to drag to jail, a reflection of the growing bonhomie between the two leaders.