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‘You can buy a few MLAs, but not TMC’

Days after Shah’s rally, Mamata hits out at BJP in Bolpur

‘Those who don't respect Mahatma Gandhi and other icons are talking of building Sonar Bangla’

Our Bureau, Agencies Bolpur(Birbhum) Published 29.12.20, 05:56 PM
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (with folded hands) greets a rally at Bolpur on Tuesday.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (with folded hands) greets a rally at Bolpur on Tuesday. PTI

Referring to the BJP as a “party of outsiders” yet again, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that the land of Rabindranath Tagore will never allow hate politics to gain victory over secularism.

In a rally at Bolpur, Mamata branded Viswa-Bharati vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty as a “BJP man”, saying that he is planning to wreck the revered institution by “importing divisive and communal politics inside its campus”.

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The Chief Minister’s own roadshow comes days after Union Minister Amit Shah visited Bolpur, often referred to as Tagore’s land, ahead of the Bengal Assembly polls scheduled for the coming year.

“Those who don't respect Mahatma Gandhi and other icons of the country are talking of building ‘Sonar Bangla’ (Golden Bengal). Rabindranath Tagore has already created ‘'Sonar Bangla’ several decades ago, all we need to do is to protect the place from the communal onslaught of the BJP,” the Chief Minister said in her address to a few thousands at Jambuni, after a four-kilometre road show in the town.

Lashing out at the Viswa-Bharati vice-chancellor, the feisty Trinamul Congress supremo said, “Attempts to destroy Tagore's cultural abode have to be resisted with all might.”

“I feel bad when I see efforts are on to pursue communal politics at Visva-Bharati. The VC there is a BJP man, he is trying to tarnish the heritage of this institution by practising communal politics,” Mamata claimed.

Talking about the recent defections in the TMC, she said, “You can buy a few MLAs, but you can't buy TMC. Few MLAs leaving the party would not matter, people are with us.”

During Shah’s visit to the state, several TMC leaders, including party heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari, switched to the saffron party.

The Chief Minister also invited folk singer Basudeb Das Baul to sing on the stage for the crowd gathered at her rally. Earlier this month, Shah had visited his residence, ‘Manohardham Kuti’', in Ratanpally area of Santiniketan in Birbhum district, to have his lunch.

“The Bengal elections are coming up and every week there is a five-star feast happening. They are trying to show they are eating at some Adivasi bhai's place. No one can insult our Adivasi brothers,” the TMC supremo was quoted as saying by NDTV.

On Monday, Mamata had said she will walk two “extra” kilometres beyond her planned road show route on Tuesday to pay her “tribute” to a statue of Rabindranath Tagore in Bolpur.

Her Tuesday rally was earlier meant to cover 1.4 kilometers, but ultimately covered nearly four kilometers.

The Chief Minister marched from Tourist Lodge crossing some 500 metres off Dak Bungalow grounds and ended at Tagore’s statue at Jambuni via Chowrasta, where she addressed the public.

Bengal, which is headed for the Assembly polls in April-May next year, has been witnessing a rise in the feud between the ruling and the saffron parties, with the latter hoping to bring down the Mamata Banerjee government from its position.

Heavyweight ministers including Shah and BJP president J.P. Nadda, have visited the state during the past month. However, the TMC has claimed that no ‘outsider’ can harm the party in any way, or unseat them from their chair.

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