Don’t let BJP flex money muscle: Mamata Banerjee

Express News Service
KOLKATA:  Countering BJP’s claim of winning over 200 seats out of 294 in West Bengal Assembly elections, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday urged voters in north Bengal to secure a big victory for TMC in order to prevent the saffron camp from indulging in horse trading once results are out.

“I will win from Nandigram with a comfortable margin. But you will have to secure TMC’s victory in another 199 seats to protect democracy. Otherwise, BJP will use their money power to buy traitors,’’ Mamata said at a rally at Dinhata in Cooch Behar district, where BJP performed impressively in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Her constituency  Nandigram went to polls on Thursday. 

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Reiterating her allegation against BJP on the ‘outsider’ issue, Mamata lambasted her main rival. “This (BJP) is a party of outsiders. A day before the second phase of polls, they brought people from outside and scared voters at night. With due respect to the Election Commission, I must say it is working under the instruction of the Union Home Minister,’’ said the chief minister.

Mamata also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for meeting followers of the Matua religious sect in Bangladesh. Questioning the timing of Modi’s visit, she said: “Elections are underway and he went to Bangladesh. People in West Bengal are no fools. Everybody knows why the Prime Minister went to Bangladesh. This is politics of vote bank.’’

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Matuas are deciding factors in at least 35 Assembly constituencies and riding their support in the 2019 general elections, BJP had won  the Lok Sabha seats of Bongaon in North 24 Parganas and Ranaghat in Nadia.Without naming All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen’s (AIMIM) founder Asaduddin Owaisi and Indian Secular Front’s (ISF) Abbas Siddiqui, the Bengal chief minister urged the minorities, SC and ST voters to stay away from their ‘divisive’ politics. “There is a leader who came from Hyderabad and one from Furfura Sharif. Don’t fall in their trap. They are here to divide people on the line of religion. My request to minorities, ST and SC voters, please don’t allow anyone to divide your votes.’’