The trend of divisive politics, which started with the demolition of Babri Masjid 25 years ago, is still prevalent in the country, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday. Without naming the party, she accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of making “intolerance” its main agenda.
“The divisive politics, which started 25 years ago [with the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992] is still continuing. Intolerance has become the main agenda of a government and a political party,” said Ms. Banerjee. The Chief Minister was addressing Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) Samhati Dibas (Day of Harmony) rally in central Kolkata to mark the 25th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid. Thousands listened in rapt attention as Ms. Banerjee took the stage and began her speech. People with flags, banners and faces painted with the TMC’s colours kept arriving in trucks and bikes even after her speech drew to a close.
She accused the Centre of failing on both the fronts of agriculture and industry. Alleging that “more than 12,000” farmers had committed suicide, she said that this had “become a common trend in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh”.
“Both agriculture and industry are being deprived. In the last four years, about 75,000 industrialists have become NRIs (Non Resident Indians) because of constant intimidation by Central agencies,” said Ms. Banerjee.
The West Bengal CM further alleged that voices of protest are being suppressed and protesters are “either being killed or being slapped with false cases.” Ms. Banerjee also said that she will continue to raise her voice against the Centre. “I will continue to raise my voice against you [the BJP] and there is nothing you can do about it,” she said.
In a veiled dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said that “one who indulges in divisive politics can never lead the nation”. Ms. Banerjee also brushed aside the BJP’s electoral prospect in West Bengal, saying that the “people of Bengal do not support divide and rule politics”.