By Express News Service
KOLKATA: The BJP is trying to turn India into a “surveillance state”, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday and urged the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognisance of the Pegasus snooping row.
Displaying her cellphone covered with leucoplast, she said the BJP-led government’s fate would have to be plastered in the 2014 elections.
“In place of democracy, there is surveillance across the country. The BJP-led Centre is trying to turn the country into a state under surveillance. Even Supreme Court judges and their own ministers are not spared. I appeal to the judges of the Supreme Court to consider taking up the Pegasus snooping issue suo motu. Only judiciary can save the country,” she said.
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Mamata alleged the BJP used its all powers — money, mafia, and muscle — in a bid to win Bengal Assembly elections. “Motto of the BJP is capture election, capture judiciary, capture media houses. They also engaged all central agencies. The Centre started travelling to Bengal like daily passengers. The Election Commission office acted as BJP’s party office in the Assembly elections. But all their efforts proved futile as the electorates of Bengal refused their narrative of dividing people on the line of religion. If they think they will win elections by snooping, it will not work,” she said.
The Bengal CM lambasted the saffron camp on several issues ranging from handling of Covid pandemic to hike in petroleum products. “The way the central government handled the Covid situation was a monumental failure. Four lakh people died of Covid. In Uttar Pradesh, bodies of Covid victims were thrown into the Ganga river. Bodies were recovered in Bengal and we performed cremations following all rituals. And he (Narendra Modi) labelled UP as the best state,” Mamata said without mentioning the Prime Minister’s name.
Hitting out at the Centre for the hike in petroleum products, Mamata urged her party workers to carry out movements against it. “The Centre earned Rs 3.7 lakh crore from petroleum products which came from the pocket of the common people. Where the fund of PM care has gone?” she asked.
Taking a jibe at Modi’s ‘Maan Ki Baat’ a fortnightly radio programme, Mamata said, “Mohabbat kam se hote hain, maan ki baat se nehin (Work is done with love, not with Maan Ki Baat),” she said adding, “If the event was for the betterment of the common people, it would have been alright. But if it is aiming to serve a political purpose, it will not work.”