Modi-Shah 'syndicate' peddling lies about women's safety in Bengal: Mamata
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday sharpened her attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah amid escalating friction between her Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party in the run-up to the West Bengal Assembly Election 2021.
Banerjee, while addressing a rally at the tail end of a roadshow from College Street to the Dorina Crossing area in Kolkata, alleged that the Prime Minister and Shah were "peddling lies" regarding women's security in West Bengal.
"They [the BJP] are saying that women aren't safe in West Bengal. Had there been no safety, women in Bengal would not have been able to move around freely at night," Banerjee said, rebutting PM Modi's assertion that the women feel unsafe in the state.
To drive home her point, the TMC chief drew a contrast with the BJP-ruled state of Gujarat and cited media reports, saying Modi and Shah's 'model state' has "witnessed four rapes and two killings every day in the last two years". She also referred to Modi and Shah as a 'syndicate’.
"Remember the Trinamool's motto — Ma-Maati-Manush (Mother, Motherland, and Humanity). Women will fight for Bengal. Women will build Bengal. This is my vow, on the occasion of International Women's Day," she said.
Lambasting the rising prices of cooking gas, the TMC supremo said, "Even when the global price for cooking gas was low, our central government kept on hiking it. Now we are having to pay an exorbitant amount for the same, forced to cook rice which costs ₹2 per kilo on a cylinder that costs ₹800. Will the BJP ever be able to provide cooking gas for free?"
She also took a dig at PM Modi over the inclusion of his photo in Covid-19 vaccination certificates. "He's turned the Covid vaccine into 'Modi vaccine'. A day will come when the entire country will be named after Narendra Modi," the chief minister said.
The women's foot march (padayatra) in Kolkata, organised by the Trinamool Congress on the occasion of International Women's Day, came a day after Prime Minister Modi attacked the Banerjee-led government from the historic Brigade Parade Ground in the city. PM Modi had accused her of "betraying and insulting" the people of the state who he said trusted she will bring about a positive change after the Left rule.
Monday's roadshow by the TMC chief comes amid attacks and counter-attacks in escalating political warfare and the violence that have come to be expected in the poll-bound state, where elections are scheduled to take place between March 27 and April 29. The votes will be counted on May 2.