Launching an all-out protest against the BJP-led Union government in Kolkata, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday took a dig at the saffron party with an oversized washing machine on stage wherein she put a black cloth that ‘symbolically’ turned white after wash. Slogans of “BJP washing machine” were raised at the protest.
The Trinamool Congress supremo started her two-day sit-in demonstration in the Bengal capital to protest the BJP government's alleged discriminatory attitude against the state. Banerjee sat overnight in front of Dalit icon Dr BR Ambedkar's statue on Red Road in the heart of the city, surrounded by a cohort of TMC leaders and workers under television camera arclights.
She urged all political parties in the country to unitedly fight the BJP in next year's Lok Sabha election, in a departure from an earlier decision to remain equi-distant from both the Congress and the right-wing party ruling India's federal polity.
“Under BJP’s rule, the opposition is endlessly harassed by central agencies. But the minute an opposition leader joins the BJP, they become innocent as a lamb. That’s the magic of BJP WASHING MACHINE!,” TMC tweeted from its official handle.
Hon'ble CM @MamataOfficial calls out @BJP4India’s hypocrisy.— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) March 29, 2023
Under BJP’s rule, the opposition is endlessly harassed by Central Agencies. But the minute an opposition leader joins the BJP, they become innocent as a lamb.
That's the magic of BJP WASHING MACHINE! pic.twitter.com/Z4hbvQQ5U0
Banerjee was accompanied by senior party leaders Firhad Hakim, Aroop Biswas, Subrata Bakshi and Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, reached the venue in front of Dr B R Ambedkar's statue on Red Road around noon and started her protest against the Centre's alleged stoppage of funds to the state for MGNREGA and other schemes of the housing and road departments.
Stating that the 2024 Parliamentary polls will be a fight between the citizens of the country and the BJP, the TMC supremo also urged all political parties to unitedly fight the saffron party in next year's Lok Sabha election.
Banerjee said people from all religions — Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Parsi — must unite to save Indian democracy.
She called the BJP 'Dushasana' which has “devastated the country by selling the LIC and SBI”.
"Every political party in India must unite to oust this BJP government. Remove 'Dushasana' BJP and save the common man of the country and Indian democracy," she said.
Banerjee protested against the Centre's alleged "stoppage" of funds to the state for MGNREGA and other schemes of the housing and public works departments.
The city has been witnessing a flurry of political activity ahead of the Panchayat elections slated for this ummer, which has now received a green signal from Calcutta High Court while was responding to a petition filed by the leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari earlier this week on the statistics being used to determine seat reservations.
Rival rallies by Banerjee’s nephew and upcoming TMC leader Abhisek, BJP's Adhikari and a march organised by the Left-Congress alliance increased the state’s political temperature by a few notches along with the sit-in demonstration which has been drawing large crowds of onlookers.
(With PTI inputs)