Srijita Seal, Desher Samay

Amidst the intense atmosphere preceding the Lok Sabha elections, a high-octane rally took place at the ground in Cooch Behar. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi held meetings just 30 kilometres apart. Speaking at the Mathabhanga janasabha on Thursday afternoon, Mamata directly aimed her remarks at the central government and the Prime Minister. She remarked, “As elections loom, the BJP attempts to curry favour with the public. He will come today.You all will witness the shedding tears of the crocodile .”

“Prior to this, political leaders from any party rarely visited Cooch Behar. After coming to power I have visited multiple times.Since the BJP took power at the center, Bengal has endured oppression. They’ve withheld Bengal’s funds. Their objective is if you cast a vote for them, then only you obtain release from the agencies. I assure you, don’t succumb to pressure from agencies. While one might trust a snake, one shouldn’t trust the BJP.”

During the rally Mamata emphasized the Sitalkuchi incident, alleging, “Five individuals were shot and killed in Sitalkuchi. They killed Rajbangshis and members of the minority community. The Saffron camp has nominated the former SP of Cooch Bihar as the candidate from Birbhum. They intend to manipulate lives through unethical politics, but such actions are unjustifiable.”

During this campaign, Mamata indirectly criticized Nishith Pramanik, without mentioning his name. She remarked, “I had expelled him from the party. Our party’s disturbing element is now BJP’s asset. He roams around with 20-30 cars. He filed a case against Udayan. Now, the cases against him will be exposed. In addition, Mamata heavily praised Jagdish Basunia, Nishith’s opponent from Trinamool, stating, “He’s a commendable individual. He speaks little but works tirelessly. He has made significant contributions to the Rajbangshi community.”

The recent storm has wreaked havoc in Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, and Alipurduar. Following the incident, the Chief Minister promptly visited the hospital in North Bengal to meet with the injured and later paid visits to the homes of the deceased.She had previously expressed her unwavering support for all those affected. Speaking at today’s rally, she reiterated her solidarity with the affected, saying, “On that day, I reached the affected areas and toured around until 4 A.M. 700 houses in Barnish got devastated and overall on 5000 houses got affected.We will rebuild all the houses. I urge the commission not to obstruct the administration’s work.”

From the Mathabhanga rally in Cooch Behar, Banerjee advised filing a police report at the station if any BJP candidate intimidates anyone.

Mamata Banerjee said, “This time, too, BJP candidates will come to your area with the BSF to intimidate you. If you feel threatened, file a complaint at the police station. Stay assured, I will look into it.”

“If you sense intimidation, report it,” she emphasized. “If any police station declines to register complaints, reach out to me directly. I have a secretariat in North Bengal as well. Complaints can be submitted through any medium, at any time.” Mamata elaborated, “These days, complaints can be lodged via email too. There are multiple channels available. You can even send them through postcards or visit in person. I travel daily; today, I’m in Cooch Behar, and I’ll come here in three more days.”

Mamata Banerjee also emphasized the importance of voting, stating, “Following the first and second phases of elections, when we place the ballot boxes, “They embed chips inside the boxes with the assistance of central agencies.Whenever anyone falls asleep,they resort to power cuts. It’s crucial to safeguard the boxes until the results are declared, strict oversight must be ensured, as voting is the fundamental right of citizens.”


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