Narendra Modi is the “King of Fascists” who was baptised in politics through “riots and mass killings”, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee alleged on Tuesday, as political discourse at the hustings got increasingly bitter. Addressing two elections rallies in West Bengal hours before campaigning ended for the first of the 7-phase Lok Sabha polls, Banerjee likened Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah to mythological characters Duryodhan and Dushshasan of the Mahabharat who were trying to “rob” the country of its freedom.
She also deprecated Modi’s attempt to seek the votes of first-time voters by invoking the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF troopers and the retaliatory assault by the Indian Air Force on terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot.
Banerjee, one of the prime movers of the attempt to forge a grand alliance of opposition parties against the BJP, said the Congress alone cannot form the next government without the support of other parties.
“Modi has received baptism in politics through riots and mass killings. He is the ‘King of Fascists’. None of us would ever forget what he did during the Gujarat riots (2002). So many people were killed. He has blood on his hands. Had Adolf Hitler (Nazi dictator) been alive, he would have committed suicide seeing Modi’s activities,” she alleged.
The Congress should not think of forming a government on its own, she said and claimed that it will have to depend on regional parties in order to return to power.
She also blamed the Congress for the rise of the BJP.
“It is because the Congress failed to put up a credible fight against the BJP that the saffron party grew from strength to strength. The Congress will have to seek help from others if it wants to form the government at the Centre.
Congress has presence only in 3-4 states,” she told the rally in Raiganj.
Referring to Modi’s appeal to the first time voters at a rally in Maharashtra to dedicate their first vote to those who carried out the air strike in Balakot and those who laid down their lives in Pulwama, Banerjee said the prime minister should feel “ashamed” for seeking votes in the name of martyrs and soldiers.
“He should be ashamed to seek votes in the name of martyrs and soldiers….as if army belongs to him….as if it is their fiefdom. Armed forces belong to everybody, they are our pride.
“He should first answer why so many jawans were killed in Pulwama despite intelligence inputs about a terror attack.
Was he sleeping? Was he snoring?” she told the rally at Islampur, adding “like Duryodhana and Dushshasan they are trying to rob this country of its freedom”.
Mocking the BJP for raking up the issue of Ram temple once again ahead of the elections, Banerjee claimed the saffron party will be routed in most states.
Noting that alliances were being cobbled together in several states, including the electorally crucial Uttar Pradesh, the West Bengal chief minister said once the BJP was defeated in the elections the opposition parties would come together and work for building a new India.
She accused the Centre of using the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate to “selectively target” its political adversaries, an apparent reference to IT raids against close aides of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath.
The TMC supremo brought up the issue of the Centre’s refusal to rename West Bengal to allege that the ruling dispensation was against her state and its people.
“They claim to be the champion of Hindus. What kind of Hindus are they? They have rendered 22 lakh Hindu brothers and sisters homeless in Assam through NRC. The fact is they hate Bengal and Bengalis.
“They want to drive Bengalis out of India. Had they not been vindictive against Bengal, they wouldn’t have stopped the renaming of the state as ‘Bangla’. Who are they to stop it? Who are they to decide who will stay (in India) and who won’t?” Banerjee said.
A combative Banerjee dared the Centre to “even touch one person” in West Bengal by invoking the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which is aimed at weeding out illegal migrants.
At an election rally in West Bengal a few days ago, BJP chief Amit Shah had said his party’s government will introduce NRC, which is currently restricted to Assam, in the state to throw out infiltrators.
Asserting that the TMC was the “only credible force” in West Bengal that can fight the BJP’s “divisive politics”, she alleged the BJP, Congress and the CPI(M) had a “tacit” alliance in the state.