KOLKATA: West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee launched a blistering attack on the Narendra Modi government on Friday, accusing it of spreading blatant lies and threatening minorities.
Speaking to the CNN News channel, the firebrand TMC chief said, ''The BJP government at the Centre is 'showing audacity and arrogance'. It has been spreading lies and rumours and targeting minorities.''
Stating that the Narendra Modi-led NDA government has failed in all respects, Mamata Banerjee said, ''Everybody is under threat today and people are scared of the BJP rule.''
The West Bengal politician, while responding to a barrage of questions vis-a-vis her state's relations with the Centre, said, ''The Centre does not support us. Any project, scheme or request made by us to them is seen through a political prism and treated as TMC's political agenda.''
While reiterating that power has made the BJP ''arrogant'', the West Bengal leader warned that the saffron party will be certainly defeated in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
''I can vouch for the fact that the BJP will not be able to cross the 200-mark in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections,'' Mamata said.
"The BJP had secured only 31 percent votes and won 283 seats (in the 2014 General Election). It cannot be repeated again. They have failed in all respects and cannot survive (in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll)," she said during the 'Rising Bengal' programme.
She éven charged the BJP with bringing in "Hindu terrorism'' and claimed that many people had been lynched across the country in the recent times over mere suspicion of either cow smuggling or consumption of beef.
"We (TMC) want to see the country united. We don't support militant Hinduism," the TMC chief said.
After winning the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP had shown "arrogance and audacity", she claimed.
"They have done demonetisation but 99.3 percent old currency notes have come back. What was the need for it? Was it for making black money white," Mamata asked.
''Crude prices were falling in the international market but petroleum prices in the country were rising,'' she said, adding that it has made the life of a common man miserable.
Though she stopped short of saying who will be the ultimate face of the 'mahagathbandhan' or the grand alliance of like-minded parties to defeat BJP in the 2019 polls, she said that she would want the non-BJP block to remain stable.
''The leadership issue will be dealt later, our first priority right now is to ensure that the BJP is ousted from power in 2019,'' Mamata said.
She also accused the ruling BJP and some right-wing groups of blocking her planned visit to Chicago in the United States to attend a programme that was being organised by the Vivekananda Vedanta Society. That programme has been cancelled now.
Mamata alleged that the BJP and the RSS had pressured the organisation to cancel the event that she was supposed to attend.
The Ministry of External Affairs, however, denied they had received any request for clearance as regards the West Bengal Chief Minister’s visit.
The question of denying permission doesn’t arise, an MEA spokesperson added.
Mamata had on Tuesday said that the Ramakrishna Mission had been threatened by "evil forces" to cancel her trip to Chicago.
"I think some evil forces had hatched a conspiracy. They did not want Ramakrishna Mission to organise the programme there. They also didn't want us, people of Bengal, to attend it. It pained me and saddened me a lot," the CM had said while addressing the Ramakrishna Mission's global headquarters Belur Math in Howrah district.
Mamata had recently received an invitation from the Ramakrishna Mission to attend the event on August 26 at the Art Institute of Chicago as a chief guest. She later shelved her planned visit after being told by the organisers that the scheduled event had been cancelled due to "unforeseen difficulties" and "demise of a monk".