Kolkata, Aug 28: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday alleged that the country was heading towards a presidential form of government.
“I want to tell you, especially to the educated class and to students, that we are heading towards a presidential form of government with one election, one leader, one political party and one emergency,” she said at a gathering to observe the foundation day of her party’s student wing, Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad.
Ms. Banerjee deliberated on a host of issues such as the changes to Article 370 in Kashmir and the decision of the Reserve Bank of India to transfer ₹1.76 lakh crore to the Central government.
Raising the issue of the change of power in Karnataka, the Trinamool Congress chairperson alleged “horse trading” and said that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) next target was West Bengal.
“They want Bengal, because we are the ones who fight...who raise voice against them,” she said alleging that Central agencies were being used to target political parties.
“Today they (agencies) are calling my brother, tomorrow they will call me. I am ready to go to jail but will not bow down to BJP’s communal politics,” she said.
Ms. Banerjee urged the youth not to fall prey to the “opium of communal politics” and called upon them to support her for the next two years.
"The Central government is either threatening Opposition leaders or buying them out with money. It is after Bengal now, as we are opposing its policies and divisive politics," she added.
“One government, one leader, one party - I presume we're heading towards a presidential form of election. All other parties are being fragmented; when Karnataka government fell, no one said anything. They say they'll capture Bengal too, I'll see how that happens,” the Trinamool Congress chief said in Kolkata.
She slammed the Central government's recent decisions on Jammu and Kashmir, including scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution that granted special status to the state. "What is going on in Kashmir? The government is using brute force to scuffle all voices of dissent in the Valley," she noted.
Apparently referring to the CBI summon issued to TMC Arambagh MP Aparupa Poddar in connection with the Narada scam, Ms Banerjee said if she is put behind bars, the she will see it as a ‘freedom struggle’. " We are not scared of any agency, they will call one person today and another tomorrow. If I go to jail, I will look at it as a freedom struggle,” the chief minister said.
She dared the Central government to arrest her for raising her voice and said she "will not bow down before the BJP". "All the institutions are headed by retired persons, who have no accountability. They are just following orders of the government like 'yes men'," she commented. (UNI)