Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that the BJP might conduct the Lok Sabha polls in December itself, claiming that all choppers have been booked by the saffron party for campaigning.
Banerjee, who was speaking at a TMC students’ wing rally, cautioned that a third term for the BJP would ensure the nation faces an “autocratic” rule.
The chief minister also blamed some people engaged in “unlawful activities” for the illegal firecracker factory blasts that have occurred in the state. She alleged that this was being done “with support from a few police personnel”.
“I am apprehensive that they (BJP) could hold the Lok Sabha elections in December 2023 itself, or in January… If the BJP returns to power for the third consecutive term, the nation would face an autocratic rule,” she said.
Banerjee claimed that the BJP has “already booked all choppers” to campaign in the Lok Sabha polls, so that no other political party can use those for canvassing.
Other TMC members clarified that she meant helicopters appeared to have been booked throughout the country.
“The saffron party has already turned our country into a nation in the throes of animosity among communities. If they return to power, it will make our country a nation of hatred,” she said.
The general elections are due in 2024.
Speaking about the blast at an illegal firecracker factory in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district on Sunday morning in which nine people were killed, the CM said: “Some people are engaged in illegal activities, and a few police personnel are supporting this.
“The majority of policemen are doing their duty with utmost sincerity, but some are helping such people. They must remember that just like the anti-ragging cell, we also have an anti-corruption cell in Bengal.”
The TMC supremo urged those involved in the firecracker industry to start manufacturing green firecrackers.
“What is the problem in producing green firecrackers? Maybe the profit is a bit less, but it is much safer and environment-friendly,” she said.
Banerjee also alleged that Governor C V Ananda Bose was violating constitutional norms, and that she does not support his “unconstitutional activities”.
“Don’t take ‘panga’ (challenge) with an elected government,” the chief minister said, referring to Bose.
The feisty TMC boss said she had ended the three-decade-long CPI(M) rule in Bengal, and will now defeat the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections.
Hitting out at ABVP and BJP activists who raised ‘goli maro’ slogans at Jadavpur University, Banerjee said she had instructed the police to arrest those involved in voicing hate slogans at the varsity.
“Those raising such slogans should not forget this is Bengal; this is not Uttar Pradesh,” she asserted.
Reacting to Banerjee’s remarks over the general elections, CPI(M) central committee member Sujan Chakraborty said the chief minister is an expert in keeping track of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“So when she is saying so, it might be that the RSS is thinking on those lines,” he said.
Chakraborty said that Banerjee’s assertion could also be an attempt to mislead other political parties. “It will have to be seen what really happens,” he added.
Referring to raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in various parts of Bengal in connection with graft cases, the chief minister claimed that the central agency is planning “to arrest Abhishek Banerjee (TMC national general secretary) before the Lok Sabha polls”.
“I received a message recently that they (ED) will arrest him before the elections. They have downloaded files on computers,” she said.
Abhishek Banerjee has been questioned by central agencies in cases relating to cattle smuggling and coal pilferage. The Trinamool Congress MP, however, has dubbed it as political vendetta by the BJP.

BJP may go for LS polls in Dec 2023, has booked all choppers for campaigning: Mamata added by on
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