In a throwback to her signature 'mercurial' avatar, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today exhorted the people to "break down the prison walls put up by the BJP" in the country and said that she will not be intimidated by the threat of being sent to jail. "Today they are calling my brother, tomorrow they will call me. I am ready for that. I am ready to go to jail, but I am not willing to bow my head before BJP's communal politics," she said, accusing the centre of using government agencies to silence all opposition.
Addressing a public rally in Kolkata, Ms Banerjee said that if she goes to jail, it will be because she is fighting for the country's freedom from the BJP. "Give me two years to fight. During this period, we will also fight for change in Delhi," she said.
The Bengal Chief Minister had last mentioned "parivartan in Delhi" during her election campaigns, most famously her Kolkata rally in January that was attended by leaders from 23 opposition parties. The Trinamool lost 12 seats in the Lok Sabha elections that followed.
The Trinamool chief also warned that the BJP was trying to dismantle the country's democratic foundations. "I think they are pushing the country towards a presidential form of government. I am predicting today that in the coming days, there will be one election, one leader, one political party, one emergency," she said.
In her hour-long speech, Ms Banerjee took no names and mentioned the BJP only twice. But unlike her relatively muted comments on Congress leader P Chidambaram's arrest and Article 370, there were no holds barred in her attack on the BJP today.
"They will not give food, not give jobs, they will give religion. What they are selling is blind faith in the name of religion, a marketplace of fake religion. There is nothing else happening in the country other than lots of junkets across the country and abroad," she said.
The Trinamool chief also criticised the substantial payout given to the central government by the Reserve Bank of India. "Some retired people have been given jobs, placed at the head of institutions. They have no responsibility. Suddenly they say that as the government is asking for money, let's give away Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Whose money? People's money, country's money, money that's kept aside for emergencies. If there is an emergency in the country today, there will be no money. All gone. And no one can even talk about it," she said.
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