Bankura: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the demolition of a statue of Communist icon Vladimir Lenin by BJP supporters in Tripura.
“I will not tolerate the demolition of Lenin’s statue. CPI(M) may be our opponents and Lenin is not my leader. But that does not mean I shall accept demolition of statues of Marx and Lenin,” said the Trinamool Congress chief in a public rally in Bankura district.
Lenin’s statue was toppled on Monday in Belonia town in south Tripura, about 90 km from state capital Agartala . Violence broke out in some parts of the state following BJP’s victory in assembly elections that saw the ouster of the Manik Sarkar-led CPI(M) from power after 25 years.
The West Bengal chief minister has already started contacting leaders such as Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and DMK working president MK Stalin to explore possibilities of a front against the BJP before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
She further said that Bengal would stand by everyone in the fight against the Centre but would not demand any benefit for themselves.
“Bengal will not take anything for themselves but they will stand by everyone. They will take everyone along and fight. They will show what Bengal can do, no one else can,” she claimed amid massive cheers from the crowd.
On Tuesday, she said Bengal (read Trinamool Congress) has no ambition of playing a lead role in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, but catalyse the formation of a common front against the BJP.
“Our target is Lal Quila, and we will have to bring an end to this arrogant government at the Centre at any cost,” she cries for on Monday. She asserted that if the saffron party targets to establish its rule in Bengal, her aim is Delhi and the Red Fort.
She also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of trying to trigger a communal riot in the state by throwing meat in religious places and announced cash reward of Rs 1,000 or jobs to people who catch such offenders.
Mamata Banerjee kept up her attacks on the BJP and said the party is trying to disproportionately highlight its achievement in a state that contains fewer voters than Howrah, one of the smaller districts of Bengal.
Incidentally, her comments comes at a time when the CPI(M) is holding its three-day state conference in Kolkata, where the demand for an alliance with all ‘secular democratic forces’ including Congress against BJP is getting louder in the party ranks.
“Neither Karl Marx nor Lenin is my idol. But they are idols for some other parties and they have significance in countries such as Russia. So I cannot disregard them by demolishing their statues just as we cannot tolerate demotion of statues of Netaji or Swamiji,” she said.