West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday said a conspiracy is being hatched against the state and the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) is being defamed as a part of the exercise.
She slammed BJP leaders for engaging in "anti-Bengal act" for urging the Centre to block funds for various welfare funds for the state.
Amid the arrests of senior party leaders in graft cases, the TMC supremo said those who have committed mistakes should be given a chance to rectify these.
"A conspiracy is being hatched against the state. A malicious campaign has been unleashed against the government and the TMC as a part of it. Those who don't like Bengal keep maligning us (TMC) and hatching conspiracies," she said at a programme for students organized by the state government on Children's Day.
The entire system cannot be maligned if "one or two people" have committed any mistake, she said.
"If you work, you tend to make mistakes. Don't we get hurt while walking on the road? We need to rectify our errors. If someone has made any mistake, it should be fixed. Law must follow its own course. But some people don't like Bengal and engage in constant slander," Banerjee said.
Her comments came in the backdrop of the recent arrest of Trinamool Congress MLA Manik Bhattacharya for his alleged involvement in "irregularities" in recruiting primary school teachers.
In July, the ED arrested former state education minister Partha Chatterjee in the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam, while the CBI arrested TMC Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal in August for being allegedly involved in cattle smuggling.
The TMC supremo urged the students not to watch news channels as they "will lose their mental balance" because of the "canards" they keep spreading against the state government.
"Don't watch television (news) channels anymore, else you will lose your mind. They keep looking for ways to malign Trinamool Congress. When I was the railways minister they pointed out the slightest errors. Why don't we see such news now? What TV channels show are not always facts, but mostly for TRP," Banerjee, who was the railway minister twice, said.
She had occupied the post during 1998-2001 in the BJP-led NDA government and again from 2009-2011 in the second Congress-led UPA rule.
Referring to statements by BJP leaders that the Centre should stop funds for various schemes for Bengal, Banerjee wondered whether it is not an "anti-Bengal act" to sabotage the state's interests.
"Is it not an anti-Bengal act to engage in shameful attempts to malign the state? You live and eat in Bengal but ask Delhi to block our funds. We will snatch our rights from them (the BJP-led government at the Centre. They cannot take away from us what we deserve," she said.
Speaking on the various developmental projects for the student community of the state since the TMC came to power in 2011, Banerjee asked officials to be more generous with marks as pupils of the West Bengal boards compete with those from CBSE, ICSE and other boards.
The state government has spent nearly Rs 2700 crore on social welfare initiatives such as Kanyashree, Aikyashree, Shikshashree, Swami Vivekananda merit-cum-means scholarship and the Student Credit Card Scheme for the benefit of the students, she added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)