Don’t play with self-respect and dignity of Bengal’s women, Mamata tells Modi

Bongaon (WB), May 13 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to play with the self-respect and dignity of women of the state by making “false claims” about atrocities.

Addressing an election meeting at Bongaon, the TMC supremo said Modi should keep in mind that the situation of West Bengal is not like BJP-ruled states.

“Don’t play with the self-respect of women, don’t hatch conspiracy by playing with the dignity of our mothers and sisters,” she said.

The prime minister in his public meetings on Sunday alleged that the TMC was trying to hide its past misdeeds in Sandeshkhali where TMC leaders were accused of sexual assault and land grab.

However, in a recently surfaced purported video, a BJP leader of Sandeshkhali was heard saying that the protests by women were “staged” at the behest of Leader of the Opposition, Suvendu Adhikari, who was behind the “whole conspiracy”.

In another such video, a section of the women, who had earlier filed rape complaints, claimed that they were made to sign a blank paper by the BJP leaders and coerced to go to the police station.

PTI did not verify the authenticity of the videos.

“Don’t touch our women, this is not your Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh. Women in Bengal live with respect and dignity,” Banerjee said.

The TMC also accused the saffron party of using central forces to intimidate the state’s ruling party workers in border districts like North 24 Parganas “so that they don’t work against BJP.”

She said, “Modi ji said yesterday that CAA will be implemented in Bengal. We don’t understand why someone has to apply for citizenship afresh or why someone has to produce 50-year-old documents to prove that his family migrated from Bangladesh. If someone wants to apply without any conditions, we have no objection.”

Banerjee wondered why union minister Shantanu Thakur did not apply for CAA.

“If the BJP wants to enforce NRC and Uniform Civil Code here, I will oppose that tooth and nail till my last breath. You will have NRC on my dead body” she said.

After the third phase of polling, it is clear that the INDIA bloc has already secured 315 seats and the BJP will not cross 200 mark, Banerjee asserted.

“The INDIA bloc will come to power in this vote. Your Didi will back the INDIA bloc coming to power (at the Centre),” she responded as a section of the crowd shouted that she would be the next PM.

“In Bengal, we are fighting BJP alone as Congress and the left are helping the BJP,” she claimed.

Labelling Narendra Modi as the most autocratic, vindictive PM she had ever seen, Banerjee said he wants to “keep all opposition leaders behind the bar.”

Banerjee also alleged that the BJP was conspiring to stop the state’s financial assistance scheme for women, ‘Lakshmir Bhandar’.

“BJP is threatening to stop Lakshmir Bhandar after three months. If anyone dares such an attempt, you all know what to do,” she said.

The CM alleged two of her party leaders had been threatened by the BJP candidate in Asansol Lok Sabha seat for campaigning against him.

“We have also come to know that envelopes filled with cash were being offered to people by BJP. While most have turned it down, we are keeping watch on those if anyone is keeping secret liaison,” she said.

Banerjee accused the BJP of trying to change the Constitution and destroy the pluralistic spirit of India.

“The BJP is attempting to pit Muslims against SCs, STs and OBCs by building a false narrative that opposition parties including TMC are plotting to take away the quota for backward castes in favour of Muslims. Can such a thing ever happen? I ask BJP not to play with fire,” she said.

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