2019 Elections “A Mystery, Not History”, Says Mamata Banerjee

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Mamata Banerjee's rally is being seen as a launchpad for the assembly election campaign.

Kolkata:

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today accused the BJP of making inroads in the state through "money, police and EVM (Electronic Voting Machines) and said in the coming assembly elections, they will "lose everything". Demanding the ballot box back, she said the Lok Sabha election earlier this year was "a mystery, not history".

At a mega rally in Kolkata this afternoon, the Chief Minister also issued a warning: "Some BJP leader has said 'Pull TMC leaders off the bus'. I say to the BJP – if we react in kind, will you be able to withstand?"

"What fight by the BJP? Who are they? No one in Bengal knows them. Only RSS goons are doing the dirty work through schools… In Bihar, the government has told police to monitor RSS activity. We have not asked police. They should be aware," she warned the BJP, which won 18 of the state's 42 seats in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election.

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While Martyrs' Day – a tribute to the people killed in police firing during her rally in 1993 – is an annual event, today's rally at the heart of Kolkata is seen as a launchpad for the assembly election campaign.

Before the thousands attending the rally, Ms Banerjee gave a point by point refutal to the BJP accusations against her party and government.

Referring to the panchayat polls, preceded by reports of largescale violence, she said, "Media here raised such a fuss… But 86 per cent seats went uncontested in Tripura. Did the media report?"

On the BJP demand that the Chief Minister return the "cut money" amassed by her partymen, the furious Chief Minister said: "Cut money? You are asking TMC to return cut money? Give us back the promised 15 lakh black money".

Dubbing the BJP the "biggest dacoits" she said, "Where did the BJP get all the black money with which you have built offices everywhere? Money that you got from demonetisation….return the money."

Since mid-June, Bengal has been witnessing widespread protests against the lawmakers of the Trinamool Congress for allegedly extorting "cut money" or commission to deliver government services that are free of cost.

Last year, Ms Banerjee had set an ambitious goal at the Martrys Day rally, promising a clean sweep of all 42 parliamentary seats in the state and setting her sight on Delhi. But her Trinamool Congress lost 12 seats to the BJP, which scooped up 18 seats from a meagre two in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

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