Panic in BJP camp after sensing defeat in first phase of LS polls: Mamata

Trinamool Congress supremo also accuses BJP of "peddling lies" regarding the CAA and NRC

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee at an election meeting in North Dinajpur (photo: PTI)
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee at an election meeting in North Dinajpur (photo: PTI)


West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee on Monday said the BJP is in panic mode after sensing defeat in the first phase of polling in the 2024 Lok Sabha election last week, and asserted that the rout of the saffron camp across the country is imminent.

Addressing two back-to-back rallies in Raiganj and Kumarganj in North Dinajpur, Banerjee described the controversy surrounding Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district, where women accused TMC leaders of sexual abuse, as a "pre-planned ploy" by the BJP to malign the state government in the build-up to the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

"Fear and panic have gripped the BJP. After the first phase of polling in nearly 100 seats across the country, they have sensed defeat. That is why they are making baseless statements. The rout of the saffron camp is only a matter of time," she said.

Speaking about the incidents in Sandeshkhali, the TMC leader said, "It is a ploy to malign us ahead of the elections."

Dubbing the BJP a jumla (empty rhetoric) party, the TMC supremo accused it of "peddling lies" regarding the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act). "The CAA is a trap to turn legal citizens into foreigners. Once you implement CAA, NRC will follow. We will allow neither CAA nor NRC (National Register of Citizens) in West Bengal. If you apply, you will be designated as a foreigner," Banerjee said.

The chief minister also criticised Union defence minister Rajnath Singh over his comments during a rally in North Bengal on Sunday, stating, "His comments are not taken seriously by anyone even in his own party. Yesterday, he claimed lawlessness was prevailing in West Bengal and that no one can stop the implementation of the CAA in the state. He is coming here and spreading canards. Let me make it clear, as long as I am here, there will be no NRC or CAA in Bengal," she said.

With Banerjee addressing rallies in areas once considered Congress strongholds, the TMC, which walked out of the INDIA bloc in West Bengal in January, said it would continue to be part of the Opposition bloc at the national level.

"If the INDIA alliance wins the Lok Sabha elections and comes to power at the Centre, then we will extend our full support. But in West Bengal, TMC is fighting against the BJP alone. Bengal will play a vital role if the alliance comes to power," she said.

Banerjee also waved a piece of paper during her speeches, claiming it was a copy of an FIR against a Central armed paramilitary force for assaulting villagers.

She alleged that two days ago, a team from the force raided a border village in South Dinajpur district and beat up villagers when they refused to pledge support for the BJP.

"I am urging the EC to take note of the transgression of its role by the BSF (Border Security Force). Instead of guarding the frontiers and stopping smuggling, they are terrorising villagers," she said.

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