In an exclusive interview with News18 Network Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi, CM Banerjee spoke about a host of issues including the NRC, the Federal Front and Mayawati and CM Adityanath's remarks.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in an exclusive interview to News18 Network Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi touched upon a range of issues.
Banerjee spoke extensively about the Mahagathbandhan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Chowkidar' pitch, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Here are the key takeaways from Banerjee's interview:
- Banerjee expressed confidence that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) will win all 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.
- She said that her party, along with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will "jointly decide" on their strategy. "Gaining or losing is not the point. Saving the nation is our first priority, not individual goals," she said.
- On the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED): Because the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in power at the Centre, they are able to intimidate people with the CBI and ED. "When they lose power, everyone will abandon them", she added.
- Asked why Gandhi is campaigning against her and the TMC in Bengal, Banerjee said: "Rahul Gandhi is following whatever Narendra Modi is doing. This is their attitude. But I am not like them. Rahul Gandhi abuses me like Narendra Modi does."
- Banerjee said that the states of West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh will be 'critical" during the 2019 polls. "These two states will make the government," she said.
- The TMC chief said that the BJP has "no respect for Hinduism" and that the party wants to "create a new religion altogether".
- On the Federal Front: "I am in touch with N Chandrababu Naidu, K Chandrasekhar Rao, Akhilesh Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav... we are together," she said.
- On BSP chief Mayawati's remarks allegedly appealing Muslims to not vote for a particular party, Banerjee said that Mayawati "spoke from her heart". Banerjee also said that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's remarks "were more dangerous". Adityanath had said that if Congress and SP have faith in Ali, "we too have faith in Bajrang Bali".
- She accused the BJP, Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) of working in tandem in West Bengal to challenge the TMC.
- On the Pulwama terrorist attack, in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were martyred, Banerjee asked why the Centre had ignored intelligence report.- Talking about the contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC) introduced in Assam, Banerjee said that she "never supported" it because of its "discriminatory" nature.