After the ban imposed on her by the Election Commission (EC) ended on Tuesday evening, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee challenged the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying that she is a street fighter and fights from the battleground.
Speaking at a public rally in Barasat after her 24-hour campaigning ban ended, Banerjee said: “They have crores of money and have come to elections. You have money, you have mediators, you have hotels, you have all agencies of India. But even then do you know why you will lose? Because I am a street fighter, I fight from the battleground. I do not fight by giving instructions from above.”
She also questioned why the BJP was rigorously trying to stop her with the help of all central institutions and agencies.
“From Delhi to entire India, BJP is taking all institutions to ensure I am stopped, Bengal is being humiliated and captured. I say clearly, we will not allow Bengal to become Gujarat; Bengal can’t become Gujarat. There is no benefit in stopping me. If I am attacked, I can attack in reply as well,” she added.
“During the last 24 hours, I could not campaign for elections and cannot campaign for 72 hours before the fifth phase. This means for four days, on one side, BJP will campaign, and I won’t be able to do the same for Trinamool Congress (TMC). I leave the thinking to the public.”
Challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister said that he is claiming that she has not done anything for the Matua community.
“I accept the challenge. If I have not done anything, I will resign from politics and if you are spewing lies without doing anything then you will do situps by holding your ears,” she mentioned.
“Mamata Banerjee has talked about everyone. Mamata Banerjee is not BJP. Even if my party worker dies, I feel as much sad if a person from another party dies. I do not do politics with lies,” she further said.
Earlier in the day, Mamata, who arrived at the Mayo road venue in the morning and began her sit-in next to a Mahatma Gandhi statue in Kolkata, turned to paints and canvases and produced at least two paintings while sitting on her wheelchair as she protested
The Election Commission had on Monday banned Mamata from campaigning in the ongoing state elections for 24 hours and said she had made “highly insinuating and provocative remarks laden with the serious potential of the breakdown of law and order and thereby affecting the election process”.
The fifth phase of the eight-phased assembly elections will take place on Saturday.