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Only guarantee in this LS poll is BJP not returning to power: Mamata

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Kalyani/ Sreerampore, May 14 (PTI) Asserting that the INDIA bloc would form the next government at the Centre by winning over 300 Lok Sabha seats, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday claimed that the "only guarantee is that BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not get a third term at the Centre".

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Addressing back-to-back rallies at Kalyani and Sreerampore, the West Bengal chief minister, without naming, took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over offering prayers at the Dashashwamedh Ghat on the banks of the Ganga before filing his nomination from the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, by stating that even a thousand dips in the river won't absolve their perceived wrongdoings.

While accusing the BJP of spreading falsehoods on the Sandeshkhali issue and tarnishing the image of women in the state, Banerjee alleged that "BJP is making last-ditch efforts to win elections by manipulating EVMs".

"The only guarantee in the Lok Sabha polls is that BJP and Modi are not returning to power. The INDIA bloc would secure between 295 and 315 seats while the BJP would be restricted to a maximum of 200," she said.

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Drawing a parallel to the 2004 elections, where the BJP's "India Shining" campaign failed, Banerjee indicated a similar fate for the BJP this time.

"In 2004, Atal Bihari Vajpayee gave the slogan INDIA SHINING but Manmohan Singh became the Prime Minister. I have some breaking news this time too – the winds are changing and the '420 guarantees' will be changed. Some people are not able to say this out of fear," she said.

Without naming anyone, she emphasised that political sins are not washed away with symbolic actions, likening them to tides in the Ganga.

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"Sometimes, when we take a dip in the Ganga or any river, the high tide brings in filth and dirt whereas the low tide washes it away. Politics is the same. People can take a dip in the Ganga not once but 1,000 times but that won't wash away their sins. During the Covid crisis, a lot of people died in Uttar Pradesh.

"Not all of them were cremated. The bodies were immersed in the Holy Ganga, thereby polluting the river. This was caught after a lot of bodies floated down to Malda," she said.

Banerjee alleged that the BJP, in an attempt to defeat her party's Krishnanagar candidate Mahua Moitra, where elections were held in the fourth phase, tried to tamper with the EVMs.

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"There is no limit to their schemes. They know that they are going to lose, this is the reason why they are trying these last-ditch efforts by manipulating EVMs," she said.

Banerjee criticised Modi's past unfulfilled promises, stating, "They are talking about Modi's Guarantees this time but they had given the same 5 years ago. Guarantees only have value if people keep their word," while adding that promises of Rs 15 lakh in every bank account and two crore jobs every year are yet to see the light of the day.

The TMC supremo hit out at the opposition over allegations of corruption and said she would personally go to court to file a defamation case against these allegations and insisted that the allegations are without proof.

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"I will go to court to file a defamation case for an allegation of theft and spreading misinformation," Banerjee said.

Attacking Modi on the Sandeshkhali issue, Banerjee said, "The BJP and the PM are spreading falsehoods on the issue. The 'guarantee babu' (Modi's guarantee) is maligning West Bengal. Our women were tricked and deceived into writing just anything without their consent. Women are now coming out and saying that they hadn't filed these (false rape) complaints. Who should be punished for this? I want to tell them that truth wins and a lie doesn't live forever.".

Multiple purported videos recently surfaced on social media that claimed that a local BJP party leader made several women of Sandeshkhali sign blank papers, which were later filled up as complaints of sexual assault against TMC leaders, and that women were paid money to participate in the protests.

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PTI could not independently verify the authenticity of the videos.

Vowing not to allow the implementation of CAA and NRC in the state, she said, "Modi ji said that CAA will be implemented in Bengal. We don't understand that. If someone wants to apply without any conditions, we have no objection." "By bringing the Uniform Civil Code, they will erase the identities of our diverse groups. Over 19 lakh Bengali Hindus were deprived in Assam and some are still in jails," she said.

Attacking the BJP, she said, "They are interfering in everything, be it our religious practices or food habits. People across the country eat what they want and we have no issues with that. Over 80 per cent of the people are non-vegetarians. Now he (PM) is saying don't eat fish, meat, or eggs. Why are they policing what we eat?" PTI BSM PNT ACD RG

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