Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday slammed the BJP for requesting the Election Commission (EC) to declare West Bengal a ‘super sensitive state’, and alleged that the saffron party was trying to hide behind central forces as it can't win any seat in the state.
The BJP has urged the poll panel to declare Bengal "super sensitive” to ensure fair Lok Sabha polls and demanded that central forces be deployed at all polling stations in the state. It also demanded that a media observer be appointed for the state to ensure that it remains free and without bias.
“I am astonished to hear that they termed Bengal as a ‘super sensitive state’ and asked for a media observer. They are behaving like a psychiatric patient. They don’t know what they are doing. I would like to question why Modi Babu and Amit Shah are so scared of me,” she said after meeting party’s candidates for the Lok Sabha polls.
Calling the BJP demand an insult to the people of the state, she mockingly advised the party to also deploy one para-military personnel behind every voter. Even then, she said, the TMC will emerge victorious in all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
"How are they preparing the list of sensitive booths? Since we are fighting (BJP president) Amit Shah and (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi, Bengal is being targeted. The Election Commission should act impartially," the Trinamool Congress chief said.
She questioned why the BJP did not ask for the tag in UP, where “every day people are brutally being killed/lynched”.
“Why they are behaving in such manner with Bengal. They killed so many people in Tripura. Now they became a saint. Let them declare that all the people in Bengal are sensitive. If they are planning to gag/prevent us from our democratic rights then they should be careful. I want to tell them don’t flex your muscle. Such thing will never scare me,” she said.
On the BJP's demand that a media observer be appointed for Bengal, Banerjee alleged that it is the saffron party that is trying to control the media at the national level.
“Now you (BJP) want to control the media also. They are shameless, shameless, shameless people. Where is the freedom of press? BJP became a laughing stock. Sometime they are after N Ram (of The Hindu) and now they are against all media here. They lost credibility and don’t believe in the federal structure. I am going to raise my voice on this issue. I would like to tell all the media people, don’t get scared of them (BJP). My full support is with you.”
“It’s my humble request to EC (as they have to take care of all the parties) that please don’t believe whatever BJP is saying (on Bengal). They are not the Quran, Bible, Guru Granth Sahib and Ramayana of democracy,” she added.
Banerjee’s reaction came after BJP delegates met Election Commission officials with their requests. The delegates include Mukul Roy, Nirmala Sitharaman, Ravi Shankar Prasad and JP Nadda.
The BJP is trying to make inroads into TMC's bastion state (West Bengal) which has 42 Lok Sabha seats. In 2014, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) won 34 seats, the Congress four, while the BJP and CPI(M) bagged two seats each in the state. The state assumes importance for the saffron party as it aims to win a sizeable number of seats there.