Abhishek Banerjee targets BJP: ‘India will become like Lanka, Afghanistan…’

Targeting the BJP over the rising prices in the country, TMC’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee has said that soon the situation in India will be like this in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. The TMC leader launched a scathing attack on the BJP and slammed the Center over the rising fuel prices. Abhishek said that the price of petrol is currently Rs 106 per liter, while the prices of kerosene have also seen a huge increase in the last few years. Banerjee reportedly warned that soon, people in the country would face shortage of food and fuel and India’s situation would be similar to that of conflict-torn Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

He claimed that while the Mamata Banerjee government of West Bengal is giving money in the hands of women through a scheme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is snatching it from them by raising the price of LPG to around Rs 1,100 per cylinder. He said that the prices of petrol and diesel are also increasing continuously. Addressing a public meeting in Dhupguri, West Bengal, Banerjee said, “What happened in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, I am sure the people of India will create a similar situation against the BJP.”

Abhishek’s remarks came after West Bengal’s Trinamool Congress MLA Idris Ali made controversial remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ali had said that PM Modi will also face the same fate as his Sri Lankan counterpart.” Whatever happened to the Sri Lankan President, it will happen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi here. Looking at things in India, I would say that Prime Minister Modi is a complete failure. It will be worse here. Prime Minister Modi will also resign and run away,” TMC MLA Idris Ali said.

Earlier on Saturday, protesters stormed the official residence of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and later set ablaze the private residence of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Both President Rajapaksa and PM Wickremesinghe have announced to step down from their posts amid the ongoing protests. However, the protesters who have occupied the residences of the President and the Prime Minister have made it clear that they will continue to occupy their homes until they resign from their posts. The deteriorating economic situation in the country has added to the tension in the last few weeks. There were reports of several confrontations between individuals and members of the police force and the armed forces at fuel stations, where thousands of desperate members of the public stand in queues for hours and sometimes days. The police fired tear gas shells several times and used water cannons. On several occasions, the armed forces have also fired ammunition.

‘There is only West Bengal and no South or North Bengal’

Meanwhile, Abhishek Banerjee also said that those TMC’s North Bengal leaders, because of which voters turned away from the party in the last Lok Sabha and assembly elections, will not get tickets in the next panchayat elections. Referring to the demand for a separate state comprising the northern districts of West Bengal by a section of BJP leaders, Banerjee is not considered. The Trinamool Congress in 2 insisted that unless Mamata Banerjee is the chief minister, no one would dare to divide the state. “Due to some leaders, voters of North Bengal were turned away from TMC in 2019 Lok Sabha and 2021 assembly elections. The party has recognized them and none of such people will be given ticket in Panchayat elections (to be held next year). Will not be given.” said Abhishek Banerjee. The saffron party performed well in those two elections in northern districts such as Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar.

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Abhishek said that he does not like the word ‘North Bengal’ as it seems that the region is separate from the rest of the state. “There is only West Bengal and no south or north. If anyone thinks of dividing Bengal, we will stop it with the last drop of our blood,” he said. Demand for a separate state or union territory for the northern part of the state Over the years, the BJP has alleged that there has been no development in the region.

He claimed that the Left Front did nothing for the development of North Bengal during its 34-year-long rule, while the TMC has largely bridged the gap after coming to power in 2011. Admitting that the TMC leadership in the districts of North Bengal had made some errors, Banerjee said, “I have come to apologize to you and give you my promise that I will visit these places regularly.”

(with PTI inputs)