Mamata condemns Centre's efforts to 'control' Twitter, calls allegations of pol violence 'BJP's gimmick'

·3-min read

(Eds: Adding details) Kolkata, Jun 17 (PTI) Launching a scathing attack on the BJP-led union government over its efforts to control Twitter, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday claimed that the Centre, having failed to influence the microblogging platform, is now trying to bulldoze it.

Drawing a parallel, Banerjee said her government, too, was being meted out the same treatment by the Centre.

Banerjee also refuted allegations of political violence in the state, saying it was a saffron party 'gimmick' and accused it of conspiring to bifurcate the state.

Such efforts would be thwarted at any cost, the chief minister said.

'It is very unfortunate; they can't control Twitter, so they are trying to bulldoze it. They (Centre) are trying to do so with everyone they are unable to manage. They can't control me, and that is why they are trying to bulldoze my government.

They are trying to bulldoze my party,' Banerjee said while talking to reporters here.

'They cannot control some journalists, so they want to kill them. . One day there will be an end to everything. I condemn this,' she said.

The networking platform has lost its safe harbour shield in India over non-compliance to IT rules and failure to appoint key personnel mandated under new guidelines.

It will now be liable for action under the Indian Penal Code for third party unlawful content.

While speaking on allegations of political violence in the state, Banerjee termed it as 'baseless' and 'gimmick' of the BJP.

'We don't support violence. Wherever any such action takes place, the police have taken strict action. There was some violence at the time of elections, and then law and order was under EC.

'There is no political violence going on in the state right now. There may have been one or two sporadic incidents, but those can't be labelled as incidents of political violence,' she said.

Hitting out at the National Commission for Women (NCW) over messages to the state police on violence against women, Banerjee said the NCW should also take time to visit BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, 'where the record of safety of women is dismal'.

'The BJP, despite losing the election, are using these agencies to settle scores. These are all pre-planned incidents, but I won't comment on sub-judice matters,' she said.

Referring to a recent video where certain elements are seen talking about fuelling Maoist insurgency in the Junglemahal area of West Bengal, she said the police had been asked to act against the perpetrators.

'I have already asked the police to take stern action against the culprits. We won't tolerate it,' she said.

Referring to the recent controversial demand by BJP MP John Barla for carving out a union territory comprising north Bengal districts out of the state, the chief minister said bifurcation of Bengal would never be allowed.

'We will never allow division of Bengal. If they (BJP) try to divide Bengal, they will face the music. People have rejected them in assembly polls,' she said.

At a closed-door meeting at the residence of BJP MP for Alipurduar John Barla at Lakhipara Tea Garden, the demand for a separate Union Territory was discussed recently.

'My belief is that north Bengal should be detached and made into a separate union territory,' Barla had said.

The MP, who has earlier led agitation for an autonomous tribal area in the last decade, said, 'small states perform better. North Bengal is neglected; it also faces security issues. Our economy is affected, tea gardens are being shut down. We will be better off as a Union territory.' However, BJPs Bengal unit officially denied making any such demands. PTI PNT MM MM

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