'Ensure TMC victory in 200 seats to protect democracy': Mamata's appeal to north Bengal voters

Express News Service
KOLKATA: Countering BJP’s claim of winning in more than 200 seats out of 294 in the West Bengal’s Assembly elections, CM Mamata Banerjee on Friday urged electorates in north Bengal to secure Trinamool Congress’s victory in the same number of constituencies to thwart the saffron camp’s possible ‘horse trading’ attempts.

“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, the BJP will use their money power to buy traitors,” she said while addressing a rally at Dinhata in Cooch Behar where the saffron brigade performed impressively in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

On April 1, Nandigram constituency went to polls where Mamata is contesting against her former cabinet colleague Suvendu Adhikari, who defected to the BJP.

Reiterating her allegation against the BJP on the ‘outsider’ issue, Mamata said: “This (BJP) is a party of outsiders. A day before the second phase of the polls, they brought many people from outside and scared the voters at night. With my humble respect for the Election Commission, I must say it is working under the instruction of the Union Home Minister,” she said.

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Mamata also castigated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for meeting the followers of the Matua sect in Bangladesh. Questioning the timing of Modi’s Bangladesh visit, she said, “Elections are underway and he went to Bangladesh. People in West Bengal are not fools. Everybody knows why he went to Bangladesh. This is politics of vote-bank.”

The Matuas are a deciding factor in at least 35 Assembly constituencies and riding their support in the 2019 general elections, the BJP bagged victory in two Lok Sabha seats, Bongaon in North 24 Parganas, and Ranaghat in Nadia, the two strongholds of the Matuas.  

Without naming the leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Asaduddin Owaisi and Indian Secular Front’s Abbas Siddiqui, the CM urged the minorities, SC and ST voters to stay alert from their “divisive politics”.

“There is a leader who came from Hyderabad and one from Furfura Sharif. Don’t fall into their traps. They are here to divide people on the line of religions. My request to minorities, ST and SC voters, please don’t allow anyone to divide your votes,” she said.