Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee today began her 48-hour dharna over the state’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) dues.
The Chief Minister will run her office from the protest site under Dr BR Ambedkar’s statue in central Kolkata’s Maidan area.
The TMC chief not only trained her guns at the Centre and the BJP but also on INDIA bloc partners Congress and the Left – hardening her stand to go solo in Bengal in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
“For the past two years, it’s only Bengal that you have not given the dues of MNREGA. Even after working, people were not paid. They (the Centre) should be sent to jail. Now they say one nation, one election. What will be the transition period? Different states have elections at different times. Why are you shying away from saying you are moving towards a presidential form of government? One party, one government, one language… They will now decide what you will wear, what you will eat – they won’t allow you to have fish or meat,” she alleged.
Explaining why the seat-sharing talks among INDIA bloc partners did not work in Bengal, Mamata Banerjee said, “The CPIM has become the biggest friend of the BJP. We told the Congress to contest 300 seats… The remaining seats should be contested by the regional parties whoever is strong in the respective areas. The BJP is trying to trigger the Hindus. The BJP and the CPIM are trying to trigger the Muslims.”
She further asserted, “Only Bengal can fight the BJP. Only TMC has fought the BJP… Congress would get only 40 seats maybe… We are allies. They were holding a Yatra but I was never informed by them.”