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BJP Being Paid Back for Its Arrogance, Says Mamata Banerjee after TMC Sweeps Assembly Bypolls

File photo of West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress Supremo Mamata Banerjee. (PTI)

File photo of West Bengal CM and Trinamool Congress Supremo Mamata Banerjee. (PTI)

The chief minister reiterated that her government will not allow the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in West Bengal, saying it is the BJP's political stand.

Kolkata: After securing three Assembly bypoll seats with a huge margin, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday advised the BJP to work for the people and not against their sentiments, saying the country is passing through a “super emergency”.

“Today’s poll results are the people's mandate against the BJP in Bengal,” she said at a press conference at the state secretariat. “I would like to tell the BJP that do what the people like and don't do what the people don't like."

Banerjee said the Trinamool Congress’s victory was in favour of secularism and unity, and a "mandate against the NRC (National Register of Citizens)".

The TMC supremo said the BJP is getting paid back for its "arrogance" and for "insulting" the people of the state.

In a major boost for the ruling TMC in West Bengal, the party bagged all the three assembly seats where bypolls were held on November 25 by trouncing the BJP. The TMC won the Kaliaganj, Kharagpur Sadar and Karimpur bypolls. The BJP emerged in the second position in all the three seats.

"We dedicate this victory to the people of Bengal. This is a victory in favour of secularism and unity and is a mandate against the NRC. The BJP is getting paid back for its arrogance of power and for insulting the people of the state,” she said.

“This mandate is against the politics of arrogance and people have outright rejected the BJP. They want to turn legal citizens of the country into refugees and send them to detention centres," she added.

At the press conference, Banerjee said the saffron party is losing people’s support barely five to six months after returning to power at the Centre.

"Within five-six months, people are not supporting you. After seeing the economic situation, unemployment scenario and also because of the disinvestment policies. No one is happy," she said.

Banerjee said the NRC is the BJP's political stand and her government will not allow its implementation in West Bengal.

"We won't allow implementation of the NRC in West Bengal and do not want it anywhere in the country. The BJP is trying to divide Bengal into pieces... We assure that not a single person will be driven out of the state because of NRC," she said.

Banerjee said she will appeal to BJP leaders not to take hasty decisions based on its "political choice". She also claimed that the CPI(M) and the Congress, instead of trying to strengthen themselves, are helping the BJP in the state.

Critricising the Centre for failing to generate employment and pursuing politics over religion, Banerjee said the results of the elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, where the BJP failed to get the majority, and Thursday's assembly bypolls outcome were a reflection of "people's anger" against the party.

"The countdown has started. They are not interested in generating employment or development. They are more interested in dividing people over religion and threatening others," she said.

The BJP should not be under the impression that people will accept their "bullish tactics" of forming governments in states despite not having the majority, she added.

On the Maharashtra political development, Banerjee expressed happiness that the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) united to form the government. "I unable to attend the swearing-in ceremony, but my best wishes are with them," she said.

The wins for TMC, especially in the BJP strongholds of Kaliaganj and Kharagpur-Sadar, pose a strong challenge to the saffron party in the run-up to the 2021 assembly polls since it had won the corresponding Lok Sabha segments, Raiganj and Medinipur, in the May general elections. This is also TMC’s first ever win in Kaliaganj and in Kharagpur Sadar.

first published:November 28, 2019, 20:36 IST