Mamata congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a sarcastic tone and dared the BJP to topple her government.
Kolkata: Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Saturday broke her silence over her party’s drubbing at the hands of the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections and announced that she had offered to resign as West Bengal chief minister but was prevented from doing so by party leaders.
Addressing a press conference after reviewing the TMC’s below-expectation performance, Ms Banerjee accused the BJP of using money power, polarising people on religious lines to garner votes and questioned if some “sort of setting or foreign power” played a role in the saffron party’s success.
Undeterred by the BJP’s second term at the Centre with a thumping majority and the saffron storm in the state, she rejected the “theory of communal polarisation” and vowed to devote more time to the party.
“Now I will focus more on the party and devote more time to it,” she announced, claiming that she had completed all development work the state promised in the party manifesto.
She congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a sarcastic tone and dared the BJP to topple her government.
Expressing her frustration, she said, “I really do not have the mentality to work as a chief minister when money shapes democracy and a government tainted with communalism is in power.”
“I tried to convince my party a lot today. But they did not accept my wish. I have become very much isolated. It is my pain. It may be that I am bound to work as the chief minister in the face of the majority view in the party. Perhaps, I will continue to work till I can,” she said.
The Trinamul chief also blamed the Left for contributing to the BJP’s success. “I do not know why they (BJP) did not get 23 seats which they had predicted. How five seats went out of their hands is not clear. I firmly believe there was a setting.”
“Since the Congress failed to mention it, I am talking on their behalf. How could BJP win all seats in Rajasthan and Haryana?” she asked.
Alleging a foreign hand behind the BJP’s victory, she said, “No justice came in any of our complaints. The Election Commission took over the administration from January. I was not allowed to work for five months despite being in the government. A total emergency situation was created here.”
Meanwhile, violent incidents were reported from across West Bengal on Saturday in which one person died and many were injured, officials said, as a face-off brewed between the ruling Trinamul and a surging BJP after the Lok Sabha results were declared on May 23.
A BJP worker was murdered at Chakdah in Nadia on Friday night. Santu Ghosh, 23, the victim, was a jewellery maker from Tapaban area. He went out of his home after getting a phone-call at around 10 pm but a gang of miscreants shot him dead.
According to sources, Ghosh had switched to the BJP from the Trinamul before the Lok Sabha elections.
On Saturday, BJP workers blocked National Highway 34 to protest the murder. BJP Nadia district committee general secretary Tarak Sarkar accused the Trinamul of murdering Ghosh.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “After election defeat the Trinamul has adopted the path of violence. People’s homes are being vandalised while they are being beaten up. The police has remained inactive.”
The TMC alleged that a number of its party offices have either been taken over or vandalised by BJP workers.
Police sources said TMC workers were beaten up allegedly by BJP supporters in Coochbehar’s Sitai, Titagarh in North 24 Parganas and New Town area near Kolkata.