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In maiden campaign rally, Mamata Banerjee criticizes BJP on all fronts except electoral bonds

Accompanied by Mahua Moitra in Nadia's Dhubulia, Didi brought attention to the Centre's alleged misuse of probe agencies, 'tax terrorism', and withholding of development funds for Bengal. She asserted her belief that the BJP would not surpass 200 seats in the upcoming LS polls.

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Kolkata, Mar 31 (The Street Press India) – During her first campaign rally on Sunday, Mamata Banerjee criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP for various issues. She talked about how they misuse central probe agencies, withhold development funds for Bengal, weaken opposition parties, and implement the Citizenship Amendment Act. However, she didn’t mention electoral bonds during her speech.

“The CBI, ED, NIA, IT are going after our workers and leaders. I was talking to one of our partymen. For three days, 16 officers from the income tax department were at his home, his family was not allowed to use the toilet or cook,” said Mamata Banerjee During her speech while campaigning for the Trinamul party’s candidate Mahua Moitra in Krishnanagar. “If BJP is so confident of winning the Lok Sabha polls, why are you using agencies, why are the state officers being transferred?”

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Mamata issued a challenge to the BJP, daring them to secure more than 200 seats in the upcoming elections instead of aiming for an unrealistic 400.

Regarding electoral bonds, data from the State Bank of India revealed that the BJP had received donations totaling Rs 6,000 crore through these bonds. Trinamul Congress followed as the second-largest beneficiary of this controversial party funding scheme, with donations amounting to Rs 1,592 crore, despite its legality being questioned by the apex court.

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Addressing a crowd of 40,000, Mamata Banerjee highlighted recent developments, stating, “Just two days ago, CBI cases against Patel bhaiya (NCP president Praful Patel), were closed since he is with the BJP now. The BJP washing machine has cleaned the stains.”

Regarding alleged corruption within the Trinamul ranks, it has been a topic of discussion since the Saradha scam surfaced after the 2014 general elections. Despite this, it has had minimal electoral impact on the ground.

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Mamata advised her party leaders and workers, “They will send notices and summons. In your reply say you are busy with the elections and will respond after the poll process is over.”

Mahua, who was expelled from Parliament last December over a cash-for-query allegation, recently had her home and office raided, and she was summoned for interrogation in Delhi, which she chose not to attend.

Mamata raised concerns about why leaders from the Congress and the CPM haven’t faced similar summons for questioning despite allegations against them.

“The country is not in a good condition. Fifteen of our vote managers have been arrested by the NIA. The Gaddar babu of Contai (BJP leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari), why are my district presidents being served with notices?” Mamata asked. “A jumla government is at the Centre. They don’t know these things can’t be done once elections are announced. Why are Congress and CPM leaders being spared, though I don’t want anything to happen to them. They have kept Arvind (Kejriwal, the Delhi chief minister arrested in a liquor scam) behind bars, but could they stop his work?”

In the lead-up to the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress faced significant challenges, including frozen bank accounts and hefty penalties totaling around Rs 2,000 crore due to multiple tax notices. Similarly, the Communist Party of India was fined Rs 11 crore for purportedly using an outdated PAN card, while the CPM has been embroiled in a legal battle against a Rs 15.59 crore penalty since May 2023, contested in the Delhi High Court.

Additionally, just four days ago, the Enforcement Directorate initiated a money laundering case against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter, Veena, and her IT company, Exalogic Solutions.

Furthermore, Amol Kirtikar, the Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate from Mumbai North West, faced immediate summons from the ED barely an hour after filing his nomination due to alleged irregularities related to the distribution of khichdi during the Covid pandemic.

Despite varying dynamics in several states, such as Maharashtra, members of the Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) have largely remained united.

During a recent poll rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Ground, representatives from the INDIA bloc addressed the gathering, with Mamata notably absent but sending two delegates in her place.

In Nadia, Mamata commenced her address by outlining the reasons why voters in Bengal should support her party, the Trinamul Congress, over the BJP, CPM, or Congress.

“I started INDIA. I gave the name. After the elections I will see. A vote to the CPM or the Congress means a vote to the BJP,” Mamata said. “There is no alliance here in Bengal. It is only a conspiracy. We will fight the BJP alone in Bengal and defeat them.”

The Congress and the CPM are still in the process of finalizing their seat-sharing arrangement, with challenges also arising from other Left parties, notably the Forward Bloc. Additionally, the Indian Secular Front, a partner in the 2021 Assembly polls alliance, hasn’t been fully aligned with the CPM.

“The Congress, CPM and another party of Muslims they are helping the BJP by eating into the Matua and Muslim votes. They want to keep the Hindus divided,” she said.

Mamata encouraged voters to support Trinamul to ensure the continuation of state-funded welfare schemes like Kanyashree and Swasthya Sathi. She emphasized that these programs would persist only if Trinamul remains in power, highlighting the cessation of funds to Bengal by the central government. Mamata criticized the previous government’s false promises during the last Lok Sabha polls, alleging that despite winning 18 seats, they failed to deliver any substantial benefits to Bengal.

Mamata, with a proud Mahua by her side, urged voters to bring her back to Parliament, highlighting her expulsion for challenging the opposition. She emphasized the importance of electing Mahua, assuring that she would fiercely confront adversaries and reveal their true intentions. Mamata reiterated Trinamul’s commitment to fulfilling promises, asserting that it’s the only party that consistently delivers. Additionally, she reassured the Matua community that they need not fear losing their citizenship under the CAA implementation.

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Sk Sahiluddin
Sk Sahiluddin
Sk Sahiluddin is a seasoned journalist and media professional with a passion for delivering accurate and impactful news coverage to a global audience. As the Editor of The Street Press India, he plays a pivotal role in shaping the editorial direction and ensuring the highest journalistic standards are upheld.
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