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Mamata raid jab at PM: rule by fear

The Trinamul chief suggested a change of guard at the Centre was inevitable

By Alamgir Hossain in Jangipur

  • Published 18.04.19, 2:02 AM
  • Updated 18.04.19, 2:02 AM
Mamata addresses the rally at Kandi on Wednesday.
Mamata addresses the rally at Kandi on Wednesday. Picture by Chayan Majumdar

Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday accused Narendra Modi of trying to rule India through a “reign of fear” and threatening all who oppose him as she slammed the Centre over searches at DMK leader Kanimozhi’s home.

“It’s a great shame that the BJP is using the central agencies against Opposition leaders and parties to try and harass them into submission,” the Bengal chief minister said at a rally in Kandi, Murshidabad.

According to the Trinamul chief, the country now had a Prime Minister “feared by everyone”.

“Yesterday the income-tax department, without any reason whatsoever, raided Kanimozhi’s home. All because the DMK and its foremost leader, M.K. Stalin, are strongly opposed to Narendra Modi and his party. The DMK leadership is being unnecessarily harassed.”

Stalin has linked the searches to the “fear of defeat” for Tamilisai Soundararajan, the BJP leader pitted against Kanimozhi in Tuticorin.

In Murshidabad, Mamata contrasted Modi with a true leader and said: “For the first time since Independence, we have a leader in this Prime Minister who rules through a reign of fear. He is feared by everyone, instead of being loved and respected.”

The Trinamul chief suggested a change of guard at the Centre was inevitable. “Change is a must and change there will be, in Delhi this time.”

The searches in Tuticorin came on a day the commission cancelled the election to the Vellore seat over a cash seizure during a raid on a DMK member, the first time an election has been rescinded in any Lok Sabha seat on such a ground.

Mamata, who considers Stalin and his party allies in her quest for ousting the BJP from the Centre, said the Modi government targeted leaders out of “fear of defeat”. “Not just Stalin and his leaders, this has happened to H.D. Kumaraswamy, BSP’s Mayawati, SP’s Akhilesh Yadav and N. Chandrababu Naidu. RJD’s Laluji has even been sent to jail,” Mamata said, referring to Lalu Prasad.

Mamata then claimed that “none from the Congress or the CPM is chosen for these things…because they adjust with the BJP”, though senior Congress leaders have been subjected to such action by central agencies in the past.

After the raids, Mamata renewed attacks on Modi and the BJP over a clutch of other issues, ranging from the National Register for Citizens and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to alleged divisive politics, farm distress and the economy since demonetisation. “The RSS is carrying cash and distributing to people. If you see anything like this, take pictures and immediately inform police.”

She termed such alleged activities “conspiracies to break the nation and break Bengal”.

Mamata reiterated allegations that the Congress’s Adhir Chowdhury and Abhijit Mukherjee enjoy the backing of the RSS in Behrampore and Jangipur, respectively. The two have rejected the charges.