‘Want justice for Thackeray’: Mamata Banerjee blames BJP for Maharashtra crisis
KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of trying to bring down the Uddhav Thackeray government in Maharashtra by use of money power and central agencies. Banerjee also questioned the move to fly the rebel legislators to Assam at a time the state was facing floods.
“What is happening in Maharashtra is shocking. I doubt if any democracy works in India. If a democratic government bulldozes democracy, then where is justice? We want justice for the people. We want justice for electoral mandate. We want justice for Uddhav Thackeray,” Banerjee told the media at the state secretariat in Kolkata.
“After Maharashtra, they will topple other governments also,” she said, adding that it was unfortunate that the BJP government at the Centre was “completely demolishing” the federal structure.
Banerjee’s sharp attack on Thursday coincided with the Shiv Sena trying to persuade dissident lawmakers to return, telling them that the party was open to considering pulling out of Maharashtra ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition.
The rebel faction led by Eknath Shinde, who has criticised Sena leaders for ending the Sena’s alliance with the BJP and forming the MVA, hasn’t responded to the new appeal. By most accounts, he already has the support of 38 lawmakers, one more than the 37 legislators needed to split the party which has 55 members in the assembly without attracting disqualification under the anti-defection law.
Banerjee reiterated that central probe agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) are being used against opposition parties.
“They are arresting everybody in CBI and ED cases. More than 200 people from my party were given ED and CBI notices although they are not accused. But for the BJP, everything is like heaven. They are distributing huge amount of money… Is it not a type of hawala? Is it not a big scam that one big party is purchasing people with money?’ said Banerjee.
Banerjee took a swipe at the Centre and the BJP for flying the Maharashtra MLAs to Assam.
“Assam is witnessing a big flood now. Instead of helping the people, why is the central government disturbing the Assam government? They are sending the MLAs to Assam to purchase them. Instead of Assam, you send them to Bengal. We will offer good hospitality and we will take care of them for democracy,” said the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chairperson.
“Is it their plan to go for presidential form of government? They have changed so many institutions. The economic situation is at its worst. The political situation is at its worst. If anybody protests, they send CBI and ED,” said Banerjee.
“You are in power and that’s why you are playing with money power and muscle power. But one day you will have to go. What will be left of you? Don’t break the government like this. Tomorrow someone else may break your government,” she said.