Lok Sabha elections 2019: ‘What about 200-year-old heritage?’: Mamata Banerjee on PM Modi’s offer to build new statue

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused the Election Commission of being partial and said it was behaving like “BJP’s brother”. She said BJP destroyed the 200-year-old heritage of West Bengal and those supporting the party will not be accepted by society.

“Last night we came to know that BJP had filed a complaint with EC so that we can’t hold any meeting after Narendra Modi’s meeting. EC is brother of BJP, earlier it was an impartial body now everyone in the country says it is batting for the BJP,” Mamata was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

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The Trinamool chief, who was addressing an election rally in Bengal’s Mathurapur, said she is “not scared to speak the truth and ready to go to jail”.

A statue of renowned 19th century reformer, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, was destroyed and a college named after him ransacked in the violence on Tuesday. Both the BJP and the Trinamool Congress leaders have blamed on each other for the violence and destruction of the statue.

Mamata Banerjee reacted sharply to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that a new statue of Vidyasagar will be built at the same spot and said that Bengal does not need alms from the BJP.

“He (Modi) has said in Uttar Pradesh that they will build a statue of Vidyasagar. We will not accept it. Bengal has the money to build the statue of Vidyasagar… Bengal does not want alms from you,” she said.

At a rally in UP on Friday, PM Modi said that “Trinamool goons” had destroyed the Vidyasagar statue during a rally by BJP chief Amit Shah.

Mamata Banerjee dared PM Modi to prove his claim that Trinamool Congress supporters desecrated the statue. “We have video proofs that you (BJP) desecrated it. And you are saying that Trinamool Congress has done it! Aren’t you ashamed? This Prime Minister should perform sit-ups, not once but innumerable times, holding his ears for telling lies,” she said.

She said the BJP won’t be “spared” and will be “dragged behind the bars”. “If you vandalise the statue of B R Ambedkar, building it once again does not suffice. If you desecrate the statue of Gandhiji, or Maulana Abul Kalam Azad or Tagore or Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, it does not suffice,” Mamata thundered.

First Published:
May 16, 2019 13:54 IST

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