TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, who ended her 30-hour-long sit-in here on Thursday to protest the Centre's alleged discrimination against West Bengal, called for an "aur ek dafa Delhi chalo" (another march to Delhi) to oust the right-wing party from power.
Banerjee while ending her 'dharna', announced that in the days to come, her party will hold a protest in the national capital to press for her demands that the central government releases pending dues to the state.
A day before, the West Bengal chief minister and stormy petrel of Indian politics had, in a change of stance, urged all parties in the country to unitedly fight the BJP in next year's Lok Sabha election, a departure from an earlier decision to remain equidistant from both the Congress and the saffron party.
The "aur ek bar Delhi Chalo" call made from the feet of the Dr B R Ambedkar's statue on Kolkata's Red Road, an obvious take on Netaji Subhas Bose's more famous "Delhi Chalo" clarion call delivered in Singapore 80 years ago, resounded well with her supporters, who had thronged the venue of the sit-in, in large numbers.
Banerjee started the two-day demonstration on Wednesday noon against the Centre's "stoppage" of funds to the state for MGNREGA and other housing and public works departments schemes.
"All of us have to unite, fight against the BJP and defeat it. If needed, we will march to Delhi to protest against the Centre's attempts to destroy the country's federal structure and keep states ruled by non-BJP parties bereft of funds.
"I was under the impression that the Union government would communicate and inform us that it would pay our dues. But nothing like that has happened. The BJP is running a government by the (central) agencies and of the agencies. The party is trying to project all opposition parties as corrupt and itself as a saint," she said.
Banerjee claimed the Centre had released funds for all states except West Bengal.
"For the past two years, we have raised the issue of funds. I met the PM thrice so that the BJP cannot accuse us of being egotistical. Not just me but our MPs too protested this economic blockade. Several MPs are here who have protested for this cause," she said.
Noting that the 2024 Parliamentary polls will be a fight between the citizens of the country and the BJP, Banerjee had on Wednesday said people across religions must unite to defeat the saffron party and save the poor of the country.
She described the BJP as 'Dushasana' and 'Duryodhana' – the two antagonists from the epic 'Mahabharata'.
"I urge every political party in India to unite to oust this 'Dushasana' BJP government. 'This Duryodhana' BJP should be removed from power to save the country's common man and Indian democracy," Banerjee said.
The TMC boss said the BJP is trying to brand all other opposition parties as corrupt.
"Since I have called for the Opposition parties to unite against the BJP, we have been termed as 'corrupt'. Are all of us corrupt, and only BJP a saint? They [BJP] will finish this country. In the coming days, it will be BJP versus citizens of India," she said.
The Trinamool Congress chief also hit out at a section of state government employees who have been demanding enhanced Dearness Allowance (DA) on par with that of the Centre, alleging that those who had got jobs on recommendations of CPI (M) leaders during the Left regime are trying to malign the state.
"The ones who got everything from West Bengal are now protesting against the state government. I have asked officials to look for their recruitment files. They are taking public money and busy agitating," she said.
The chief minister was accompanied by several TMC leaders, including Firhad Hakim and Aroop Biswas, at the protest site.
Draped in a white cotton saree, Banerjee is on a 30-hour sit-in protest at the city's landmark, which ended at 7 pm.
She was also heard singing songs with party leaders in the morning.
Kolkata has been witnessing a flurry of political activity ahead of the panchayat elections this summer, which has now received a green signal from the Calcutta High Court.
-With PTI Input