(Eds: With more inputs) Egra (WB), Mar 19 (PTI) Branding TMC turncoats as 'traitors', party supremo Mamata Banerjee on Friday said it was good riddance that they have left her camp, but the 'switch over has left BJP old-timers sulking' as the saffron party has chosen to field the defectors over its loyalists.
Addressing a poll rally at Egra in Purba Medinipur, the West Bengal chief minister accused the BJP of practising 'politics of riot, loot and murder', and urged everyone 'to be on guard against outsiders appearing in their localities'.
The TMC, which has made 'Bengali pride' its core poll plank, has called the BJP a 'party of outsiders', as its top leaders hail from outside the state.
In an obvious reference to Suvendu Adhikari and Rajib Banerjee who had shifted allegiance to the BJP along with other leaders like Mukul Roy, the TMC supremo said 'Gaddars, Mirjafars (traitors) have now become BJP candidates, to the dismay of old-timers of the saffron party.' Noting that 'these turncoats' had been given many responsibilities in the past, Banerjee said, 'I will be monitoring every project so that its benefit reaches everyone.' Slamming the saffron party for chanting 'Hari Hari in front and stabbing from behind', the TMC chief claimed, 'Chewing panparag and putting tilak on forehead, the BJP carries on attack on people.' Coining the slogan 'No vote to BJP', Banerjee also asked the crowd not to vote for the CPI-M and the Congress either 'as they are friends of the BJP.' The CPI-M, Congress and the fledgling ISF have formed an alliance in West Bengal.
Banerjee asked the people to maintain vigil outside the counting centres where the EVMs will be kept after polling, saying 'Do not leave the place even if central security and state police ask you to do so.
'Also if an EVM malfunctions, ensure that the machine replacing it is tested properly.' About her decision to contest from Nandigram, she said, 'Many people had asked me why I decided to contest from faraway Nandigram rather than a constituency in Kolkata. I replied, I chose it since the movement against land acquisition in Nandigram (in 2007-2008) and Singur had played a significant role.
'Also I consider every corner of West Bengal as my own place.' Alleging that women are not secure in BJP-ruled states, she said, 'In Uttar Pradesh, women are raped and murdered. The father of a rape victim was killed recently.
'If a poor man steals Rs 500 we pounce on him. What about the BJP stealing lakhs of rupees in jumla, what about lakhs of cash being plundered in the name of selling of PSUs? These thefts by BJP leaders are never known publicly.' The chief minister said, 'Duare Sarkar' (government at the doorstep) camps will be set up again in August-September and will be held twice a year from now on.
Asserting that the victory of the TMC in the assembly polls 'will be the precursor to dislodging the BJP in Delhi, Banerjee said 'If you want me to be at the helm again, make every TMC candidate a winner.' The TMC leader chanted 'chandi' sloka while wrapping up her speech and also wished Muslims, Christians and members of different tribes and castes.
'We are all united and together. None can rupture our unity. This is Bengal', she said. PTI SUS MM MM