Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday invoked the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 to draw a parallel with the efforts by her party to dislodge the Narendra Modi government in the ongoing parliamentary polls.
“Sepoy Mutiny was the first uprising against the British in India. Now the biggest threat and problem in the country is Narendra Modi,” she said at a rally in support of TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi, who is pitted against BJP’s Arjun Singh.
The Sepoy Mutiny was a violent and bloody uprising against British rule in India in 1857.
“Sepoy Mutiny started from Barrackpore. You keep this in mind and vote,” she told the gathering at Bhatpara, which is under the Barrackpore parliamentary constituency.
Raising the slogan “Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao”, she sought the support of the people for TMC in both Lok Sabha and assembly by-election at Bhatpara.
The by-election was necessitated as Singh, who was the Bhatpara TMC MLA had quit the party and switched to BJP just before the Lok Sabha elections.
Slamming the Modi government, she said democracy is at stake and BJP is involved in riots. “This cannot happen here (Bengal)”.
“We have seen national leaders like Gandhiji, Netaji Ambedkar and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. But we have never seen a leader like Modi. His very appearance is like Gabbar Singh”.
Gabbar Singh is a fictional character, the antagonist of the 1975 Bollywood film ‘Sholay’.
“What we want is a democratic government – a government for the people. We don’t want Modi”, she said.
Referring to the comment by Modi that 40 MLAs of TMC in Bengal are in touch with him, she said it is unbecoming of a prime minister to make such a statement during elections.
“I ask him to name one of such MLA,” she challenged adding “TMC is now a full-grown tree and it is not easy to destabilise it. We do not fear any sort of threats”.
The TMC supremo alleged that BJP is spending huge sums of money to influence the vote. “He (Modi) is travelling with big boxes,” she said referring to the recent alleged incident in which a black box was reportedly offloaded from the prime minister’s helicopter during his visit to Chitradurg in Karnataka for poll campaign.
Banerjee alleged that Modi had never looked at West Bengal and is now coming to the state begging for votes.
“Narendra Modi is shameless. He says that nothing has been done in the state and is now seeking votes to do something for Bengal.
“Just come and see the development which has taken place in Rajarhat-New Town area. If he compares the traffic system with this area and Delhi, he will be surprised to see the roads and lighting that has been done”, she said.
The TMC supremo accused Modi that of doing nothing for the country in the last five years and instead raising the fuel prices when it had softened in the international market.
“This vote is of a different nature. Either Modi will stay or go. If he stays, then everything will be destroyed and shattered. If not, then democracy will prevail and flourish in the country and everything will survive,” she said at a poll rally in New Town in the northern suburbs of the city.