Kolkata, Mar 8: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called upon all regional parties to come together to defeat the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections next year, after the TDP decided to pull out its ministers from the Union government.
Banerjee also mocked at the BJP over its "dream" of capturing power in West Bengal, and said it should first concentrate on retaining power at the Centre as the "alarm bells have already started ringing". "All the regional parties should come together to defeat the BJP in 2019 (Lok Sabha poll)," she told an International Women's Day rally organized by her Trinamool Congress here. "Are you (BJP) not able to hear the sound of revolt from various parts of the country? Are you not able to read the results in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat? The TDP has walked out," she said.
Telugu Desam Party chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu yesterday decided to pull out the two TDP ministers in the Modi government, saying the party took the "painful decision in the interest of the state" as it was left with "no other option". The ruling TDP has been demanding special category status for Andhra Pradesh.
"The BJP will be defeated in 2019. Instead of dreaming about capturing power in Bengal, they should look at themselves and see whether they can retain power at the Centre," she said. Banerjee said the BJP should not be elated over the victory in Tripura and alleged it won the Assembly polls there through "misuse of central forces and money power".
The BJP, she said, won in Tripura because the ruling CPI(M) could not put up a fight and surrendered before the saffron brigade. She, however, noted that the Left party, which was in power for 25 years, secured over 45 per cent of the votes polled.
The TMC supremo also criticised vandalisation of statutes of political icons and social reformers. Referring to the defiling of the bust of Jana Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookherjee in Kolkata by activists of a left-wing organisation, she said a few people are trying to sully the reputation of the state by engaging in such activities. Banerjee alleged that the BJP was trying to instigate riots in the state and said "We should go all out to protect communal harmony". She said women needed to take the initiative to protect communal harmony.