Mamata tears into Modi govt over GST on staple food, LPG price hike at her bellwether annual rally
Kolkata/IBNS: Addressing party workers and people from her annual Martyrs' Day rally in Kolkata, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday rapped the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre on key issues like imposition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on some basic food items, hike of LPG cylinder prices.
At the massive gathering in downtown Kolkata, Banerjee, who won the 2021 assembly elections in the state with a thumping majority crushing BJP's ambitions in the eastern state, borrowed some puffed rice (Muri in Bangla) from an attendant in the crowd to question the Modi government's imposition of GST on the food item, which is a staple diet in any Bengali family in this part of the country.
"Return our puffed rice (allow us to have puffed rice without tax)," are the carefully chosen words by Banerjee, who heads West Bengal's ruling party Trinamool Congress (TMC).
A few minutes later, Banerjee, flanked by her hugely popular actor-turned TMC MP Dev, turned her focus on a dummy gas cylinder to attack the BJP government's hike in LPG prices.
"We do not need a government which hikes prices of all goods," Banerjee gives slogan from the dias, which was studded with her party MPs, MLAs, councillors, state ministers and Tollywood celebrities.
Mamata hints at post-poll scenario in 2024
In a different stance from her earlier pitch for a combined Opposition, Banerjee, who took the first initiative to field a joint Opposition candidate for the Presidential poll, said anti-BJP parties will unite if the saffron camp fails to manage a simple majority in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
"When the BJP fails to get the majority, all others will unite," the TMC supremo, who was wearing a customary white saree with saffron and green colours imprinted on it, said.
Deucha Pachami raised again
In an issue which the Left and BJP try to politically cash in, Banerjee Thursday once again sounded confident to complete the Deucha Pachami coal project despite sporadic protests from the locals.
"We will not forcefully grab lands but remember Deucha Pachami project will be completed and it will provide 1,00,000 jobs," the TMC supremo said.
Mamata dares BJP to 'topple' her govt
Weeks after the Maharashtra government collapsed following a rebellion from a Shiv Sena faction, Banerjee dared the BJP to topple her government, which presently has a sound majority with around 217 out of 294 seats.
"After Maharashtra, they (BJP) are claiming to topple governments in Haryana, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal. I advise them not to look at West Bengal because there is a giant Royal Bengal Tiger here," the feisty 67-year-old politician said, challenging the BJP which had unsuccessfully thrown everything to win the state in 2021.