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Not afraid of anyone, can't be intimidated with jail: Mamata Banerjee

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Kolkata, Feb 21: Amid rising political temperature in poll-bound West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Sunday that she is not afraid of anyone and cannot be intimidated with jail or anything else.

She asserted that her mother tongue Bangla has taught her to fight like a tiger and not to be afraid of rats.

Mamata Banerjee

Holding out a challenge without naming any one or political party as the state prepares to go to polls shortly, the Trinamool Congress supremo said that they have not learnt to lose.

"Don't try to intimidate us with jail, we have fought against guns and are not afraid of fighting against rats," she said.

"As long as there is life in me, I will not be afraid of any intimidation," the feisty Bengal leader said at a programme here on International Mother Language Day celebrated on February 21.

A few hours before the programme, the CBI had served notice to her nephew Abhishek Banerjee's wife and sister-in-law for questioning in connection with a case of alleged coal pilferage.

Maintaining that she is accepting all challenges on the historic February 21, she said "Let there be challenge in (20)21, let us see whose strength is more; there will be only one game in (20)21 and I will be the goalkeeper in that match and want to see who wins and who loses.

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"We have not learnt to lose and they won't be able to defeat us," Banerjee said without naming anyone.

The ruling TMC and the Bharatiya Janata Party are engaged in a fierce battle for winning the coming assembly elections in the state.

"My mother tongue Bangla has taught me to fight like a tiger and not to be afraid of rats," she said, maintaining that she can speak so loudly and with pride because of the sweetness and beauty of the Bengali language.

Banerjee said that she will give the slogan "Joy Bangla" even if she is sent to jail.

The BJP has opposed the use of the slogan claiming that it is associated with Bangladesh.

The TMC supremo and her party have been accusing the BJP of bringing outsiders into Bengal for the coming elections.

The TMC launched its campaign slogan "Bengal wants its own daughter" Saturday, which the political analysts claimed is an attempt to rake up Bengali sentiments before the elections.

"I love Bengali language and respect other languages also; why should I say Bangal and not Bangla?" she asked.

The chief minister said that her government's proposal to change the name of West Bengal to ''Bangla'' has been lying with the central government for four years.

She questioned whether the proposal is not finding favour because there is a Bangladesh.

"We are a state and that is a country, there is Punjab in Pakistan and there is Punjab in India also," she said, wondering what problem is there in changing the state's name to ''Bangla''.

Banerjee said the state can also be called "Bangla Pradesh" like Andhra Pradesh or Himachal Pradesh.

"I have always been seeing deprivation and a step-motherly attitude towards Bengal," she said.

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