A week after Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a mega rally in West Bengal's Bolpur, state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday responded with an equally large mass gathering and a roadshow in the town. The Trinamool Congress chief led a 4-km march before addressing a huge gathering. While asserting that her party will retain power by winning the 2021 assembly elections, Mamata launched a frontal attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which pushing hard to dethrone her.
Mamata took a potshot at TMC leaders who have left her to join the BJP recently and said that defections won't affect her party's prospects.
"You can buy a few MLAs, but you cannot buy Trinamool Congress. The defections will not impact the party at all as the people are with us."
Referring to Amit Shah, Mamata said that 'outsiders' are coming to Bengal and insulting the life's philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore and Nazrul Islam.
"Conspiracies are being hatched to destroy the culture of Bengal. I genuinely feel bad when I see efforts being made to pursue communal politics at Visva Bharati," she said, urging people to stop the politics of violence and divisive tactics.
"These people don't know about the Bengali icons but are still commenting on them. BJP All-India President J P Nadda said Rabindranath was born in Santiniketan. It is an insult to Gurudev as Rabindranath had established Santiniketan 60 years after his birth," Mamata Banerjee said.
She went on to brand Visva-Bharati Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty as a 'BJP man', and alleged that he was planning to destroy the rich heritage of the hallowed institution by "importing divisive and communal politics inside its campus".
"Those who do not respect Mahatma Gandhi and other icons of the country are now talking of building 'Sonar Bangla' (Golden Bengal). Rabindranath Tagore has created 'Sonar Bangla' several decades ago, all we need to do is to protect the place from the communal onslaught of the BJP," Mamat Banerjee said in an apparent reference to Amit Shah's statement last week.
(With Inputs From Agencies)