Abhishek Banerjee takes on PM Modi and BJP on national security, personal remarks
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) used the Pulwama terror attack as an election issue to retain power in 2019 but has done nothing to free the territory China captured in Ladakh six months ago, Lok Sabha member and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee alleged at a huge public rally at his constituency, Diamond Harbour, on Sunday afternoon.
This was his first public meeting in eight months. Taking an aggressive stance, he declared the launch of his election campaign for the coming assembly polls.
“The government has not disclosed how much territory has been occupied by China. In fact, the Prime Minister says there is no such occupation while the Union defence minister claims otherwise. Who is fooling the people? We want China to be given a befitting reply but all Modi has done is ban some Chinese apps. How long do you plan to carry on with this politics with your false patriotism? Will you free this territory before the next election?” said Banerjee. He is also the president of the youth front of the Trinamool Congress (TMC).
“We want India to give a befitting reply to any country that endangers her sovereignty, be it Pakistan, China, Nepal or Bangladesh. But why is the government silent for six months although China has occupied our territory in Ladakh? Do the lives of our soldiers who died in Galwan have no value?” Banerjee questioned.
In recent months, Banerjee has been singled out and targeted by state and central leaders of the BJP. In his speech, Banerjee dared PM Modi and other BJP leaders to take his name instead of referring to him as bhaipo (nephew in Bengal) or bhatija (nephew in Hindi) in their public speeches.
“At his rally at Diamond Harbour before the last election, Modi said ‘bhatija’ will lose the limelight. I dare Modi and BJP leaders of all ranks to take my name. Neither the Prime Minister nor the others have that courage. Every time they did it, I dragged them to the high court and rubbed their noses on the ground. That’s why they are afraid of taking my name these days,” said Banerjee.
“I am not afraid of taking names. I am boldly saying Amit Shah, Kailash Vijayvargiya, Amit Malviya, Sunil Deodhar and the others are outsiders. I am saying Dilip Ghosh (state BJP president) is a ruffian and a mafia. I am saying Vijayvargiya’s son Akash is a ruffian,” said Banerjee.
Reacting to this, Vijayvargiya said, “Banerjee has been shaken by the raids the income tax department and the Central Bureau of Investigation is carrying out against a coal mafia don close to him. He has lost balance. I don’t want to react to this.”
Dilip Ghosh, on the other hand, said, “If he says I am a ruffian so be it. I am a ruffian. Stop me if you can. It is my time now. The TMC has tortured people and deprived them these years.”
At the rally, Banerjee attacked the BJP on the issue of development as well.
“We can show with statistics that the TMC government in Bengal has performed much better than the BJP government at the Centre in several fields. I dare the BJP to send any Central minister or any number of leaders to sit for a debate with me on a live television show. I will not show my face if I cannot back our claim with data. Why is your politics based on religion and not development?” said Banerjee.
Talking at length on the development projects of the state government, Banerjee said, “TMC is a party of the people. Mamata Banerjee has made a lot of sacrifices and so have you (the workers). She is the sun. You (the opposition) will burn if you try to touch her,” said Banerjee.
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- The BJP lodged a complaint in the Phoolbagan police station. Senior BJP leaders of the state rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.
- The TMC asked the EC why the polls could not be held in fewer phases.
- She alleged that the poll panel scheduled the election dates keeping in mind the BJP’s demands.
- The CBI earlier questioned Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira Banerjee in the case.
- Besides rallies, the chief minister’s itinerary could include religious stopovers at important places of worship.
- "Modi government only makes false promises, has done nothing to bring down fuel prices," PTI quoted the Bengal chief minister as saying.
- According to CBI officials privy to the development, Rujira was questioned for around an hour.