PM Modi behaving like a tin-pot dictator: Derek O'Brien

On Sandeshkhali issue, O'Brien accuses BJP of trying to "create a narrative" to win women's votes in West Bengal

Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien (photo: @niayayakkural/X)
Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien (photo: @niayayakkural/X)


Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O'Brien on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of behaving like a "tin-pot dictator" and said the BJP-led Centre was arresting opposition leaders in its desperation to secure a win in the upcoming elections.

"The prime minister is behaving like a tin-pot dictator, arresting opponents, election agents, transferring state government officials... Changing rules in desperation to win seats... Why?" asked O'Brien, in Delhi for a meeting of Opposition INDIA bloc leaders with the chief election commissioner, a day after Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

INDIA bloc parties are rallying behind Kejriwal, with the TMC making its first appearance with the Opposition alliance partners since seat-sharing talks with the Congress in West Bengal failed, and it announced its intention of going solo in the Lok Sabha polls.

"The director general of police (DGP) West Bengal was changed thrice in 24 hours... Why wasn't the ED director changed?" the TMC Parliamentary party leader in the Rajya Sabha asked.

The TMC leader also expressed confidence that his party will get a higher share of seats in West Bengal. "Whatever number the BJP finishes in Bengal, the TMC will at least be double that number."

The Opposition leaders sought to meet the CEC to talk about the absence of a "level playing field" in the upcoming polls, and raise questions on EVMs (electronic voting machines) with a demand for 100 per cent VVPAT counting.

On the Sandeshkhali issue, O'Brien accused the BJP of trying to create a "narrative" to win women's votes in West Bengal. He, however, added that the narrative will not work and claimed that TMC's actions for women empowerment are visible, unlike the BJP's, which has been sheltering leaders like former wrestling federation chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accused of sexual harassment by several Indian women wrestlers.

"The BJP will lose Sandeshkhali. They realised that women's votes were with Mamata Banerjee, and wanted to create a narrative. That narrative has failed because the people who are giving the narrative have a track record of sheltering leaders like Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh," he said.

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