On Balakot airstrike, Banerjee said that she will not use the issue as a poll plank and that it is unfortunate that PM Modi did not attend the all-party meeting which was called to address the issue.
In an exclusive interview to News18 Network Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee talked about a united Opposition, Balakot air strike and farm distress. She also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had failed to fulfil his promises.
On BJP accusing her of appeasement politics, Banerjee said, "The CPM was in power before me. How did they manage to win the Muslim vote? Here in Malda, the minority vote goes to the Congress. Unlike the BJP, we don't believe in divide and rule."
According to Banerjee, 23.6 percent of West Bengal’s voters are Scheduled Castes; the tribal population is 5.9 percent; the Muslim population is 30 percent, and the rest are Hindus.
"The BJP has no respect even for Hinduism. They are polarising Hindu voters. They want to create a new religion altogether -- one that does not believe in Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekanand or the ancient scriptures. They imported this fake religion and want to impose it on everyone. I am a Hindu too but I am against the BJP's idea of Hinduism," she added.
On BJP's ideology of propagating Hindutva, Banerjee said, "The BJP only wants to attack people. They have stopped serving non-veg food on air India. Why are they trying to control our food habits? They cannot dictate our choices. What I want to eat is my right. Would I ever tell a vegetarian to eat non-veg? It depends on people's tastes. Some prefer rice, some chapati, some want dhokla, some eat meat or fish. Who is the BJP to decide on what we should eat and what we should not?"
On the Balakot airstrike, she said that she will no use the issue as a poll plank and that it is unfortunate that PM Modi did not attend the all-party meeting which was called to address the issue.
"I don't want to use Balakot airstrike as an election issue. I am very sad about the deaths of so many of our jawans. But why did the government ignore the intelligence report? Why did so many of our jawans die? Why has terrorism increased? There are so many questions. We had asked Modiji for an all-party meeting to brief us on this issue. But he didn't," Banerjee told Joshi.
On PM Modi's bid to enact the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in West Bengal, Banerjee said, "Bengali Hindus are very cultured. So are Bengal's Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. Bengalis are united. BJP doesn't know about Bengali Muslims and that is their problem."In addition, she spoke about the Gandhi family and her "affection" for Priyanka Gandhi; the Kashmir issue and her successor.
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