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Govt using brute force to scuttle voices of dissent in Kashmir: Mamata Banerjee

TMC had opposed the Jammu anfd Kashmir Reorganisation Bill in Parliament and staged a walkout during the voting early this month.

PTI|
Aug 28, 2019, 05.30 PM IST
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Banerjee has on several occasions criticised detention of the three former chief ministers of Jammu & Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370 that gave special status to the state.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday accused the Centre of using brute force to "scuttle" the voices of dissent in the Kashmir valley, and dared the BJP-led ministry to arrest her for raising voice against the government.

Banerjee, while referring to RBI's decison to hand over Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government, said that important institutions of the country are being headed by retired bureaucrats, who are acting as "yes men" of the government.

"What is going on in Kashmir? The government is using brute force to scuttle all voices of dissent in the valley," she said while addressing a students rally here.

TMC had opposed the Jammu anfd Kashmir Reorganisation Bill in Parliament and staged a walkout during the voting early this month.

"If there is an all-party meeting, we would have kept our views. We don't know where Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti & Omar Abdullah are presently," she said.

Banerjee has on several occasions criticised detention of the three former chief ministers of Jammu & Kashmir after abrogation of Article 370 that gave special status to the state.

A bitter critic of the saffron party, Banerjee asserted that she would continue to raise her voice against the government and dared it to arrest her for doing so.

The TMC supremo said she "will not bow down before the BJP".

"All the institutions are headed by retired persons, who have no accountability. They are just following orders of the government like 'yes men'," the CM said, while addressing TMC's students wing-Trinamool Chatra Parishad foundation day rally here.

While referring to Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s decision to give Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the Centre, Banerjee on Wednesday said the reserve money of the central bank has also been exhausted due to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.

"There is no reserve money in RBI now. All money has been used by the centre," Banerjee said.

The country is heading towards presidential form of government, and there will be no place for democracy, Banerjee said while hitting out at the ruling dispensation.

"They are propagating one government, one leader,one party, one emergency. I presume we're heading towards a presidential form of election. Is this what our freedom fighters fought for?

"All other parties are being fragmented, when Karnataka government fell, no one said anything. They say they will capture Bengal too, I will see how that happens," she said.

"The central government is either threatening opposition leaders or buying them out with money. It is after Bengal now, as we are opposing its policies and divisive politics," she added.
Accusing the central agencies of trying to intimidate TMC MLAs and leaders, Banerjee said they are calling party leaders every other day with the sole intention to threaten and intimidate them.

"One of my MLAs told me how the central agencies are intimidating them. We are not scared of any agency. We have committed no wrong. They will call one person today and another leader tomorrow. If they want they put me behind bars, I will go to jail. I will take that as fight for freedom struggle. I won't bow down before BJP," she said.

Her comments comes in the backdrop of several top TMC leaders and ministers being summoned by CBI in Saradha Chit Fund scam and Narada sting operation.

In the last few years, the saffron party has made deep inroads in Bengal and emerged as the main challenger to the ruling TMC by pushing the Congress and the Left Front to distant third and fourth positions respectively.

Its leaders are now asserting that their next target was to unseat Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the 2021 Assembly elections.

The BJP, in the general election this year, bagged 18 of the 42 seats in the state, four less than the ruling TMC. The TMC's tally came down from 34 in 2014 to 22 seats.

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