Siliguri: Two days after BJP national president Amit Shah launched a vicious attack against the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday hit back, saying the saffron party was targeting her party because it was playing the role of main Opposition in Delhi.
"Today Trinamool Congress is playing the role of main opposition in Delhi. That is why they are targeting us. Those in power in Delhi know Trinamool is their main opponent. But they cannot sweep us away with brooms," She told a party workers' meeting here.
The West Bengal chief minister called upon opposition parties to forge unity against the Narendra Modi government which, she alleged, "was trying to sell out the country".
"They only make grand speeches. There is a limit to fooling people. The Centre is cheating people. They are diluting the 100 day's rural guarantee scheme," Banerjee said.
"Soon after coming to power the BJP hiked FDI in Railways, Defence. The reduction of prices of fuel in India is not at par with the reduction of prices in global market."
"They are out to sell out the country," she said adding, "I heard that the Centre has hiked the excise duty on petrol and diesel again. They deregulated prices of fuel."
"I urge the opposition parties to unite against this government in Parliament. We will remain behind them. Let the government be strong and the Opposition be strong", she said.
Banerjee ridiculed Shah's challenge to uproot the TMC regime, saying a "party which cannot manage Delhi is trying to capture Bengal".
"Who are they to tell us to go to Bangladesh? What do they know about the history and heritage of Bengal? You manage Delhi first. You eat Delhi's laddoo first. One who eats Delhi's ladoo repents and one who does not eat Delhi ladoo repents, she said.
She also targeted Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar for inviting Narendra Modi to address his cabinet colleagues in Agartala, saying, "The CPI(M) has invited BJP to Tripura... CPI(M)-BJP bhai bhai. One is chhota bhai, the other bada bhai".
Continuing her criticism of Manik Sarkar's invitation to Modi, Mamata said, "They will do meeting with Narendra Modi. It is mouth-watering. They have no shame."
Apparently taking a dig at Modi's Swachh Bharat campaign, Banerjee said, "We clean our own homes. We do not pose with brooms before the camera."
She said, "The BJP, CPI(M) and Congress have united to take on Trinamool. I challenge BJP, CPI(M) and Congress to come together. We will fight alone. They will not be able to remove us even by one inch," she said.
"I was born here. We have been beaten up here. They are asking all of us to go. They are suddenly giving us lectures. We do not need lectures from them. Bengal is the land of Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar," she said.
"If I have the microphone, does it mean that I will say whatever I want to without any evidence. Everyone has a boundary. We should not cross the boundary. I have the pen but does not mean that I can write whatever I want," she said.
She said that the BJP does not enjoy enough majority to merit the "tall talk" of removing TMC from power and accused the party of getting news published in the media in exchange for money.
"That much majority you don't have. Why there is such big talk?. You will realise when we will open out. You are getting published certain news in the the media by giving money," she said.
"They want that we give up the Raj Bhog ( a popular Bengali sweet) and they will eat," she said asserting that the BJP would not be able to capture the seat of power in the state.
"We all have our limits and boundaries. But there is no boundary for development," Banerjee said and urged the BJP to compete with her government in development work.
She said her party MPs have protested in Parliament with empty earthen vessels regarding the dilution of 100 days' work scheme.
"I urge you to protest with whatever utensils you have against the Centre on this issue." she said.
Referring to the state's huge loan burden bequeathed by the previous Left Front government, she said, "Let the Centre stop taking our tax revenue. We will not ask for any funds from them. We are not asking for alms".
Banerjee said that BJP was jittery over the development being carried out by her government in the state.
Citing instances, she said that Bengal is No.1 in 100 days' work scheme, MSME, skill development, food grain production.
"They are zealous of the development that is taking place in the state. We will reply to the Opposition's propaganda with development," she said.
The chief minister said that "Delhi is yet to release funds. They have stopped funds under 100 Days' Work.
"A lot of work is taking place in north Bengal. We will continue the developmental projects"", she said.
"I want workers of tea gardens to get land pattas under Nija Griha Nija Bhoomi scheme", she said.
"We have started 100 Days' Work scheme at tea gardens.We distribute food grains to workers of closed tea gardens",she said.
"When I was in Congress, I always had to go to Delhi for everything. In Trinamool, there is no lobbying", Banerjee told the party leaders.
"The party will identify who is fit for what job. No one has to request for poll tickets. A leader will not drop from the sky. A leader is born from among the people," she said.
"We must respect our elders. This is the culture and discipline of Trinamool Congress. We must not see politics as means of earning money. Always be there at the service of people. Work for people. You must serve the poor," she told party workers.
She said that often there were riots in Assam. ""We have to keep our borders safe in districts like Jalpaiguri/Alipurduar."
Referring to tea garden problem, she said, "We have formed a Group of Ministers to look into the issue of tea gardens and jute industry. Disputes between management and workers must be settled by discussion," she said.