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Mamata Banerjee accuses BJP of having turned whole nation into detention camp, fears election to be 'scary'

Mamata campaigns in Assam’s Silchar for Trinamul nominees

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 18.04.24, 06:21 AM
Mamata Banerjee addresses the public meeting in Silchar, Assam, on Wednesday

Mamata Banerjee addresses the public meeting in Silchar, Assam, on Wednesday PTI

Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday accused the BJP of having turned the whole nation into a detention camp and said the general election would be "scary".

The Bengal chief minister, in her campaign speech at Silchar in Assam, accused the Narendra Modi government at the Centre of ensuring that the electioneering was "tainted" on an unprecedented level and urged one and all to unite forces against the saffron regime.


She vowed to have the amended citizenship law and the National Register for Citizens scrapped and the uniform civil code (UCC) binned if Trinamul came to power at the Centre — as an INDIA constituent.

"There will be no democracy left, and elections will cease to take place if Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns to power again," said Mamata.

"I have never seen such a dangerous, scary election in my life.... All agencies are working for one party, thereby having tainted the elections in a never-before manner," she added, asserting her love for all religions and her firm stand against any division on communal lines.

In her 27-minute speech to mobilise support for Trinamul’s four Lok Sabha candidates in Assam at a packed Town Hall field, Mamata said if INDIA came to power, it would "withdraw all discriminatory laws".

While dwelling on the NRC and the CAA, she said at least six-seven cases had been lodged against her in Assam while she was protesting against the NRC in Bengal.

“ I will not forget. What was my fault...? How many will you detain? You (the BJP-led government) have turned the entire country into a detention camp,” she said. Later in the day, her party released its manifesto in Calcutta, promising to have the CAA scrapped, the NRC stopped, and the UCC binned.

While the NRC is a register of Indian citizens, the CAA expedites citizenship to non-Muslims who have entered India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before December 31, 2014. The UCC proposes a uniform legal framework for citizens irrespective of their faiths.

The Assam NRC, published in August 2019, excluded 19 lakh-plus applicants (a vast majority of them were Bengali Hindus) who would have to prove their citizenship in the foreigners' tribunals once the NRC was notified. The state government and several organisations are pushing for an error-free NRC.

Mamata said Trinamul planned to contest all 126 seats in Assam in 2026. Assam has had a BJP-led government since 2016. “Ensure the victory of Radheshyam Biswas (Silchar candidate) and the other three candidates. We will contest in all seats and if we have your support, we will win,” she said.

Addressing her first poll rally in the Northeast for the upcoming polls, Mamata also punched holes in the BJP's and Modi’s assertion of “abki baar, 400 paar”.

“Let them first cross 200 seats,” she said while warning that there would be no democracy and no election if Modi got a third straight term.

The Trinamul chairperson also broached the ongoing unrest in neighbouring Manipur, where churches were “burnt” and women paraded “naked”. She said she believed in the peaceful co-existence of all communities and all faiths and had no issues with people eating or dressing as they liked, alluding to Modi's criticism as "Mughal-minded" of those having non-vegetarian food during the recent Chaitra Navratri.

Taking a dig at Modi for issuing guarantees, she said: “The BJP can give only one guarantee: conduct riots, tell lies, loot votes... harass minorities, Bengalis, Dalits and Adviasis...."

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