Country staring at food crisis, famine because of BJP: Mamata

·4-min read

(Eds: Adds details, BJP's reax) Ranaghat (WB), Jan 11 (PTI) The country is staring at a food crisis and famine because of the 'adamant' approach of the BJP to the continued agitation by farmers for withdrawal of the three new farm laws, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday.

She also called the BJP a 'junk' party for inducting 'rotten' leaders from other political outfits.

Reaffirming her opposition to the NRC, CAA and NPR, Banerjee, while reaching out to the Nadia district's Matua population, said all refugees will be granted land rights, and no one can banish them from the country.

'The country is staring at a food crisis. There will be famine and food shortage if the BJP continues to remain adamant on the farm laws. The Centre is trying to create famine through these farm bills.

'The farmers are assets of our country and we should not do anything that goes against their interest,' she said, addressing a TMC rally here in Nadia district.

The TMC supremo also demanded immediate repeal of the three farm laws as sought by farmers agitating at Delhi's borders.

'We stand by the farmers and their demands. On one hand the BJP is lecturing us on farmers' issues and on the other it is torturing the farmers who are protesting against the laws. So many farmers were beaten up in Haryana and Punjab,' she said.

Unleashing a stinging attack on the BJP over the party inducting a raft of leaders from other political parties, including her own, Banerjee said the saffron outfit had turned itself into a washing machine where 'tainted leaders come out clean after joining it'.

'BJP is the biggest junk party in the country. It's a dustbin party filling up its rank and file with corrupt and rotten leaders from other parties.

'You must have seen some (TMC) leaders switch over to the BJP. They have done it to protect the public money they had looted. We were removing them from our party. The BJP runs the party like a washing machine, where corrupt leaders turn into saints the moment they join them,' she said.

Alleging that there's virtual 'dictatorship' in the country, Banerjee said the saffron party uses either money or muscle power to poach leaders from other parties.

Talking about the recent defections from the TMC, Banerjee said the BJP might have 'bought a few leaders', but it can never buy her off.

'They (BJP) are afraid of me as I have not bowed down before them,' she asserted.

Slamming the saffron camp over the Citizenship (amendment) Act, the TMC boss said, those born in this country are its legitimate citizens.

'All refugee colonies in the state have been recognised by the West Bengal government. All refugee families will have land holding rights. We have started the process and several families have already got it.

'No one can remove you from here. You are born here and are citizens of this country. You don't need the BJP's certificate to prove your citizenship,' she asserted.

Reaching out to the Matua community that constitutes roughly 40 per cent population of Nadia district, Banerjee said, the BJP was trying to 'fool' them with the promise of citizenship.

'I want to assure everyone that no one needs to be afraid of the NRC, NPR and CAA.' The Matuas, originally from East Pakistan, are a scheduled caste group, who entered India, particularly West Bengal, after Partition and creation of Bangladesh. While many of them have got Indian citizenship, a sizeable number has not.

The BJP had made significant gains in the district in the last Lok Sabha polls and bagged the Ranaghat seat. Nadia has two Lok Sabha seats.

She exuded confidence about returning to power for the third consecutive time with an even bigger mandate.

She also drew a parallel between BJP cadres and US President Donald Trump's supporters who stormed the Capitol recently.

'They have ruined the entire country, and now they want to ruin Bengal. The BJP is a party of liars. Lies, lies and more lies is the characteristic of the BJP. The day the BJP loses elections, its cadre and supporters will behave like those of Trump and say they disagree with the poll results,' she said.

Calling BJP president J P Nadda's lunch at a tribal household in the state on January 9 a 'show off', Banerjee claimed that the food items served to him were cooked at five-star hotels.

Accusing the BJP of being a 'party of outsiders' trying to 'destroy' the state's culture, Banerjee said West Bengal will never allow the saffron party's 'hate politics' to triumph over secularism.

'BJP leaders from other states are coming here with money bags. If they offer you money, take it but don't cast a single vote for them,' she said.

Reacting to Banerjee's comments, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the TMC leader has sensed that the days of her government are numbered.

'Why is she now calling leaders who have joined the BJP corrupt? If they were corrupt, then why did the TMC government not take any action against them for so many years?' he asked. PTI PNT SK SK