Mamata Banerjee Promises To Visit Sandeshkhali 'As Soon As Basirhat Candidate Wins'; Alleges BJP Of Conspiracy

On her first visit to Basirhat Lok Sabha seat since the crisis in Sandeshkhali, CM Banerjee stated that she would meet the concerned victims only after her party candidate wins in the ongoing general elections.

Mamata Banerjee during rally in West Bengal Photo: PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she was heartbroken for the plight of women in Sandeshkhali and said that if her party candidate Haji Nurul wins the Basirhat seat, she would go to meet the women.

Banerjee while addressing a rally in Basirhat asserted that the BJP should not have played with the dignity of women in the trouble-torn area as its "conspiracy now stands exposed".

Sandeshkhali falls under the Basirhat Lok Sabha seat in North 24 Parganas district.

Mamata Banerjee On Plight Of Sandeshkhali Women And Alleging BJP's Conspiracy

While addressing a rally in Basirhat, Banerjee slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for talking to Sandeshkhali protester and BJP candidate Rekha Patra over the phone, alleging that the country has the "worst track record in terms of women's safety and security under the BJP rule".

“I am sorry for whatever has happened to the women of Sandeshkhali and the way they have been humiliated. I express my sadness from the core of my heart. Nobody should dare to play with the dignity of women," Banerjee said.

She also said, "People would have never understood how the BJP had hatched the conspiracy, had the videos not surfaced. The BJP should not play with the dignity of women,” Banerjee said in her first visit to the Lok Sabha seat since the flare-up in January this year.

"PM calls someone over the phone, holds a tutored conversation, and circulates that on television. But how many people does he actually talk to like this? It is under his tenure that the country saw maximum crime against women. BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh is the first when it comes to crime against scheduled caste and scheduled tribe," she said.

Mamata Banerjee On Visting Sandeshkhali

The TMC supremo promised that she would soon visit the Sandeshkhali region but placed a condition before it. She said, "As soon as our candidate Haji Nurul wins Basirhat, my first visit will be to Sandeshkhali. I will go to meet the people there."

The riverine Sandeshkhali area, situated on the borders of the Sundarbans, about 100 kilometres from Kolkata', has been on the boil since February with protests over allegations of sexual abuse and land grab against now-arrested TMC leader Shajahan Sheikh and his supporters.

Banerjee said both her party and the state government have taken immediate action whenever "one or two incidents" have taken place.

Banerjee's remarks come in the backdrop of multiple purported videos surfacing on social media, which claimed that a local BJP leader made several women of Sandeshkhali sign blank papers, which were later filled up as complaints of sexual assault against TMC leaders.

Controversial Videos In Sandeshkhali

Since the first week of May, four videos have been released by a portal. In the first one, a man who claimed to be a BJP mandal president in Sandeshkhali was heard saying that the leader of the opposition in the West Bengal assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, was behind the "whole conspiracy".

The second video was about women, who had earlier filed rape complaints, claiming that they were made to sign a blank paper by local BJP leaders and coerced to go to the police station.

In the third one, BJP candidate from Basirhat constituency and Sandeshkhali protestor Rekha Patra was heard saying that she "doesn't know the rape survivors who were taken to Delhi to meet the President."

In the fourth video, a BJP leader was heard saying that over 70 women had received Rs 2,000 each for taking part in protests against TMC strongman Shahjahan Sheikh who is accused of sexual assault and land grab.

(With PTI inputs)