New Delhi: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Delhi on Thursday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the Centre over allegedly being snubbed by the BJP government. The event, which will take place at the India Gate at 7 pm today, is being held during the four-day visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Talking about the statue, she said, “It was broken, it was a hologram. Now they have established it again.”
Expressing displeasure at the kind of invitation received, Banerjee said, “They sent a letter that PM will inaugurate at 7 pm, you have to be there at 6 pm. As if I am a bounded labour.”
Banerjee also slammed the Centre for not inviting her to be a part of the Bangladesh Prime Minister’s ongoing visit to India. She wondered why the government was “worried” about her meeting Hasina.
“I share an excellent relationship with Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina, but (the Centre) did not invite me to be a part of her visit,” PTI quoted her saying while addressing a special session of the Trinamool Congress.
“I don’t want to talk about external affairs or bilateral ties. But, I have noticed that the Centre tries to stop me whenever I am invited to any foreign country. I want to know why is the Union government so worried about me meeting foreign dignitaries,” Banerjee said.
Officials Reject Mamata’s Criticism Of Centre
The Centre rejected Banerjee’s criticism as PTI cited official sources saying, “The government of India does not invite any chief minister for such visits. Sometimes chief ministers are invited for state banquets or some other ceremonial events but there was no such occasion during this visit.”
“In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in fact invited (West Bengal) Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to Bangladesh, where a ceremonial event was held for flagging-off a bus service between the two countries,” an official said.
‘BJP To Face A Rout In 2024’
Slamming BJP for its “arrogance”, Banerjee went on to say that BJP will face defeat in the 2024 general elections as there’s anger building among people against the saffron party.
Claiming the support of her counterparts in Bihar, Jharkhand and other states, she said, “I, Nitish Kumar, Hemant Soren and many others will come together in 2024. All opposition parties will join hands to defeat the BJP. All of us will be on one side and the BJP on the other. The BJP’s arrogance of 300 seats will be its nemesis. There will be ‘Khela Hobe’ in 2024.”
‘Khela Hobe’ (game is on) had been the battle cry of the TMC during the high-octane Assembly polls last year, in which the party defeated the BJP to storm back to power for the third consecutive term.
Banerjee claimed that the “arrest of Jharkhand MLAs with hordes of cash by Bengal police recently” stopped the horse trading in the neighbouring state and prevented the fall of the Hemant Soren government.
“The BJP thinks they can threaten us with CBI and ED. The more they pursue such tricks, the more they will get closer to defeat in next year’s Panchayat election and 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” she said.
She slammed the opposition, especially the BJP, and a section of the media for allegedly unleashing a malicious campaign against her and her party leaders following the arrest of senior leaders Partha Chatterjee and Anubrata Mondal by central agencies in different cases.
(With PTI inputs)