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'BJP is the Pandemic, It Ended India': Mamata Banerjee Slams Centre at Rally Against Hathras Atrocity

Mamata Banerjee speaks at a rally against the BJP-led Centre in West Bengal. (Twitter)

Mamata Banerjee speaks at a rally against the BJP-led Centre in West Bengal. (Twitter)

Banerjee, who held a protest march against the Hathras gang rape case, said she will stand by the Dalit community till the end as her caste is "humanity" and she does not believe in differentiation on the grounds of caste and religion. The march began at the Birla Planetarium and endedat the Gandhi statue at Mayo Road, about 2 km away.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday launched a scathing attack on the BJP-led government at the Centre for running a "dictatorship" in the country and said the saffron party is a "pandemic" which is torturing dalits the most.

Banerjee, who held a protest march against the Hathras gang rape case, said she will stand by the Dalit community till the end as her caste is "humanity" and she does not believe in differentiation on the grounds of caste and religion. “BJP sabse bada pandemic hai...Yeh party desh ko khatam kar diya (BJP is the biggest pandemic in the country, they have ended our country)," she said.

The march, the first by the fiesty TMC supremo since March when the nationwide lockdown was declared to break the coronavirus infection chain, covered the 2-km distance between Birla Planetarium to Gandhi statue on Mayo Road here. Sharpening her attack, Banerjee said, "COVID-19 is not a big pandemic. BJP is the biggest pandemic. It is the biggest pandemic of atrocities against Dalit and backward communities." "We should stand up against these atrocities...The kind of atrocities that are taking place are completely unacceptable," she said addressing the rally.

She said the way Adityanath's BJP government in UP had handled the incident was highly condemnable. "I feel like meeting the family members at Hathras. Yesterday, I sent a team of TMC leaders to stand beside the grieving family members. But unfortunately, they were not only stopped from meeting the victim’s family members but also they were manhandled by the UP police," the TMC supremo said, adding that the party's MP was also manhandled.

The delegation had comprised MPs Derek O’Brien, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Pratima Mondal and former MP Mamata Thakur. All of them were stopped nearly 1.5 km from the victim’s house in Hathras.

Mamata Bala Thakur had said, “We were peacefully going to meet the victim’s family members when suddenly we were intercepted, misbehaved and manhandled. It is shocking. We were stopped and before we could explain – the policemen pushed Derek O’Brien and Pratima Mondal. They fell down and got injured.”

In response, Mamata Banerjee said at the rally that they were not afraid of raising their voice against BJP. "We are not afraid of your bullets," she said.

"A dictatorship is going on across the country. Instead of government for the people, it is running a government against the people, the Dalits and the farmers," she added.

The West Bengal CM said Dalits were pushed into darkness and that her party pledged to bring them back into the light. Accusing the BJP of only believing in encounters and spreading fake news, Banerjee rhetorically questionaed whether the Delhi riots victims got justice.

Hitting out at the Centre for allegedly failing to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, Banerjee said it seemed that the community spread of the disease has begun as people who don't venture out and stay in a protective atmosphere are also getting infected.

She had previously hit out at the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh and said just as Goddess Sita had to go through 'Agni Pariksha' in the Ramayana after being abducted by King Ravana, the Dalit woman who died after being allegedly gang-raped and brutalised in Hathras was cremated in the dead of the night.

“Uttar Pradesh has turned into a Jungle Raj and there is no law and order situation in the state. The male police officials touched us inappropriately and didn’t allow us to meet the grieving family members,” she had said.

first published:October 03, 2020, 18:34 IST