Mamata Banerjee calls BJP a militant organisation, says it’s triggering fights among Hindus
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Mamata Banerjee calls BJP a militant organisation, says it’s triggering fights among Hindus

Addressing members of her Trinamool Congress party, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee alleged the BJP was working along communal lines, attempting to divide even Hindus.

india Updated: Jun 21, 2018 21:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Mamata Banerjee,BJP,Trinamool Congress
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee spoke to a gathering of more than 10,000 party members as she prepares the ground for the Lok Sabha 2019 election.(PTI)

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said it behaved like a militant organisation.

Addressing an audience of more than 10,000, comprising mostly of party leaders, MLAs, MPs, civic body chiefs and winning candidates of gram panchayat, panchayat samiti and zilla parishad, she remarked that the party is trying to create division among the Hindus too.

“We are not a militant organisation like the BJP. They are triggering fights not only among Christians, Muslims but also among Hindus,” said Banerjee.

Ever since she stormed back to power in May 2016, the Bengal chief minister has been criticising the BJP, accusing it of trying to divide the nation along religious lines and that various organisations linked to it are trying to create communal disharmony in the country in general and Bengal in particular.

Alleging that the BJP has tampered with electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the past, the TMC chief also warned her leaders that the saffron party can again do so again in the future.

She claimed that her party leaders fell victim to the BJP’s money power and divisive tactics in the few pockets in the tribal-dominated districts of Purulia, Jhargram and West Midnapore, wherever the saffron camp gave ruling party candidate a run for their money in the recently concluded rural polls.

“Beware. The BJP has tampered with EVMs in the past and can do so again in the future. You have to be careful that this can be done in this (Lok Sabha) polls as well,” said the Bengal chief minister.

She said Lok Sabha elections can be held any time between three to eight months. In a meeting earlier this month, she had said the 2019 elections can be advanced to this year.

BJP leaders shot back saying the Trinamool chief toes the line of the CPI(M) and Congress in this respect. “If they win the elections, there are no problems with the machines. But if they lose, the EVMs have been tampered with. The fear of future defeat is prompting her to make such remarks,” said BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha.

The war of words between the two parties escalated since Wednesday, when state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh addressing party workers in north Bengal’s Jalpaiguri allegedly threatened that “soon TMC leaders will be in jail or killed in encounters”. Ghosh was booked by the state police for his statement.

And on Thursday, Sayantan Basu, a state BJP general secretary, said in Sri town of Birbhum district, “Within 72 hours of coming to power TMC leaders resorting to violence will face encounters if they don’t confess their crimes.”

First Published: Jun 21, 2018 18:37 IST