Published On: Thu, Jul 22nd, 2021

Mamata Banerjee accuses Modi govt of showing vindictive attitude

Kolkata: A day after hitting out at the Centre during her Martyrs’ Day speech, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday came down heavily on the BJP government at the Centre on the Pegasus issue, alleging that the raids conducted at media house Dainik Bhaskar’s office is a result of the vindictive attitude of the (Narendra) Modi government.

This is an effort to bulldoze the reporters and throttle the voice of the people

She again appealed to all the political parties to come forward and unite to defeat the “autocratic government” at the Centre and save the “largest democracy of the world”.

Criticising the Central government for the raids conducted at several offices of Dainik Bhaskar across the country on Thursday, Banerjee said, “This is an effort to bulldoze the reporters and throttle the voice of the people. Dainik Bhaskar was boldly reporting on the Pegasus issue and on the bodies that were thrown into the Ganges by the Uttar Pradesh government. That is why they have been victimised. I strongly condemn this”.

Terming the Pegasus issue as more dangerous than the Emergency and even bigger than the ‘Watergate’ scandal in the US, the Chief Minister said, “Today everybody is under threat. The judiciary is under threat. The political parties are not allowed to speak. The voices of the civic society are throttled. All impartial organisations are politicised. All agencies live under the fear of Pegasus. Even the ministers and the leaders of their own party (BJP) are not safe.

“If the judges become weak, if the journalists become unsafe, if the civic society is scared, where is the democracy? It is autocracy. Once we believed that speaking on WhatsApp was safe, but now we know that it is no longer safe. Facetime can also be hacked. All our phone calls are being recorded. So where do we go? Everyone is living in fear,” she added.

Making it clear that she is just of many who want to come forward and play an important role in uniting all the anti-BJP forces in the country, the Chief Minister said, “India is the biggest democracy in the world and it is our responsibility to protect it, or else the people of the country will never forgive us. We want impartial justice. We will not bow down our heads. We need to fight it out together.”

Confirming that she has got an appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, Banerjee said, “I shall try to go to the Parliament if I am allowed. If I go, I shall have the opportunity to meet several leaders. I cannot assure now whom I shall meet, but there are many who want to speak to me. Let me see the timing and the situation, then only I shall take a final call.”

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