‘Mamata is scared’: BJP’s social media campaign after no press meet by Bengal CM in 9 days
BJP’s campaign and the social media posts came on the day that Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress took jibes at Prime Minister Modi for never taking a question at any press conference since taking charge in 2014.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday launched a social media campaign taking a swipe at West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for staying away from the media for more than a week.
The campaign is being called Bhoy Peyechhe Mamata, which means Mamata is scared in Bengali.
Top state and national leaders of the BJP began tweeting and posting on Facebook, using the hashtag #BhoyPeyechheMamata to charge that Banerjee was avoiding the media because of her failures, which they said have been exposed by the Narendra Modi-led Union government.
The campaign and the social media posts came on the day that Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress took jibes at Prime Minister Modi for never taking a question at any press conference since taking charge in 2014.
West Bengal’s ruling party also accused the BJP of prioritising electoral interests in light of the 2021 assembly elections over saving lives in the current coronavirus pandemic.
Since March, Mamata Banerjee has been at the forefront of the state’s battle against Covid-19 and has interacted with the press almost every day. But since April 30, she has not met the media.
Instead, the state’s chief secretary and home secretary are briefing reporters on administrative issues, while TMC spokespersons have been actively disseminating political messages.
“PPE kit discrepancies, death toll embezzlement, ration corruption from the beginning till now @MamataOfficial’s administration has misled the people. Be patient! People will answer. #BhoyPeyecheMamata (sic),” Shiv Prakash, the BJP’s national joint general secretary (organisation), wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
The party’s national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya tweeted, “Doctors crying for PPE, patients lying with dead bodies. Migrant labour not allowed to leave state. Bengalis not allowed to come back home. Hospitals not taking patients. Police attacked @MamataOfficial government is absolute disaster. #BhoyPeyecheMamata (sic)”.
“Where are you Mamata Banerjee? Covid 19 cases are increasing, no of tests are still low and not giving permission to bring back Bengali migrant labour’s from other states? #BhoyPeyecheMamata,” Mukul Roy, BJP’s national executive member, tweeted.
“People of Bengal are looking for their health minister, who also happens to be the Chief Minister, as number of Covid cases keep rising, doctors continue to protest, testing remains absymally low and reported data is wholly unreliable. Please help! #BhoyPeyecheMamata#SaveBengal (sic),” Amit Malviya, BJP’s IT cell’s national head, also tweeted.
On Saturday afternoon, Trinamool Congress had taken digs at PM Modi for avoiding press conferences.
“We hold long press conferences and take all questions. Our chief minister always leads from the front at any hour of crisis. But the Prime Minister has not taken a single question from a press conference, ever since taking charge in 2014,” Derek O’Brien, the TMC national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member, said.
O’Brien alleged that while the Bengal government and the state’s ruling party was preoccupied with fighting the coronavirus pandemic, the BJP was focussed on the Bengal Assembly elections due in 2021.
“The BJP started its 2021 electoral campaign on the day the inter-ministerial central teams (IMCT) reached Bengal on April 20,” O’Brien said.
Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, the party’s Lok Sabha MP, alleged that “all the moves taken by the Centre regarding the handling of the Covid-19 situation in Bengal were, in reality, political moves. The Centre could not stand the fact that Mamata Banerjee was leading the battle from the front and was doing better than the Centre.”
IMCT had accused the state administration of negligence and mismanagement.
Meanwhile, following a fortnight-long controversy and since May 3, the West Bengal government has been sharing detailed information including district and state-wise daily number of new Covid-19 cases, active cases, cumulative numbers of persons testing positive and the number of deaths.