Amidst the ongoing Assembly elections in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee resorted to fear-mongering during an election rally in Nandigram.
While addressing the public gathering, Mamata Banerjee said, “BJP ke vote dile apna ke desh theka tariya deba (If you vote for the BJP, then, they will drive you out of the State).” She claimed that BJP’s rise to power would result in ‘outsider goons’ taking over Bengal.
“Baira thaka goondara aisa bangla ke dhokhol kora nibe, Banglar sanskriti ke dhokhol kore nabe, banglar asthitya dhokhol kore nabe.(Goons from other States will come here and take over Bengal, destroy its culture and identity),” the incumbent West Bengal Chief Minister alleged. While drawing a contrast with the BJP, she claimed that voting for the TMC will result in in-home delivery of free ration.
Furthermore, Mamata Banerjee lured voters by highlighting the government schemes, which are supposedly implemented by the Trinamool Congress-ruled State government. Her election rally in the Nandigram Vidhan Sabha constituency comes two days after an audio clip of her conversation with BJP district Vice-President Pralay Pal went viral online. She was heard pleading with the BJP leader to help her win elections and rescue the TMC, ahead of polling in Nandigram on April 1.
‘Outsider vs Bengali’ rhetorics of Mamata Banerjee
In a bid to rake up Bengali sentiments, the Trinamool Congress had attacked several BJP leaders by dubbing them as ‘outsiders’ in the land of Bengalis. In November last year, Mamata Banerjee urged people to ‘resist outsiders’. She remarked, “If some goons from outside come to our state and terrorise you, all of you should unite and resist them. I promise we will stand by you. We believe in peace. But few people come to the state only during the elections to terrorise others. We won’t allow them to have a free run here.”
In December last year, she again reignited the debate around ‘Bengali vs Outsider.’ She said, “Remember, BJP is not a party of Bengal but it is a party of Delhi and Gujarat. They should return to those states. Don’t trust the BJP or believe them. If you want to fight elections in Bengal, do it without bringing outsiders.” She continued to take potshots ahead of the election with ‘outsider jibe’ as well.