Kolkata: Intensifying her attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday threatened to stage a demonstration outside his residence against demonetisation and vowed to remove him from politics, saying there was no place for “dictators” like him in a democracy.
“I appeal to everybody, take a vow — either I will die or live, but remove Modi from politics. There is no place for dictators like you, Modi babu. This is a democratic country,” Banerjee told a huge rally here against the demonetisation move of November 8.
Raising slogans like “Tanashahi nehi chalegi”, the Trinamool Congress supremo demanded that Modi take back his “disastrous decision” of banning the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
“A decision has to be taken after proper planning; otherwise its impact is disastrous for people. Over 80 people have committed suicide because of your decision. There is no money in the bank or people’s pockets. Farmers, workers have no food. Hawkers and small shopkeepers are crying.
“Whole of India is in a bad shape; Modi is sleeping and making big speeches. He is giving us lectures on ‘Mann ki Baat’ (radio programme),” she said.
Banerjee announced she would go to Delhi again, and take out a protest march on the issue. “If need be, I will demonstrate outside Modi’s house,” she said.
Going all guns blazing against Modi, Banerjee likened him to 14th century Delhi Sultan Mohammed bin Tughlaq.
“This is a Tughlaqi fiat. Even Hitler had not taken such a step.”
Banerjee said had she been in Modi’s chair, she would have not taken such a step. “And even if I had made such a mistake, I would have taken my decision back.”
She alleged that every person protesting against the move was being threatened by central agencies, and even newspaper owners were not spared.
“You can only get some parties on your side, but not all. I would like to tell everybody that even if they manage to terrorise everyone, we won’t be cowed down. We will be there till the end.”
Ridiculing Modi for talking about a cashless economy, Banerjee said: “What will happen to the poor. A leader must speak the language of the people. Now a baseless and faceless person has become the country’s leader.
“Suddenly, Modi babu thought he has become the God of Gods. It seems you have to seek Modi’s permission even to walk on the streets or take food. How many people will Modi send to jail? It is not that easy. India is a land of 128 crore people,” she said.
She asked Modi to explain how his Bharatiya Janata Party “came to know” about the demonetisation in advance and “purchased land in Bihar”.
“In some other areas, they have bought pearls, gold and emeralds. And now Modi is labelling 86 per cent of the country’s population as black money holders. And you (Modi) are pristine white?”
Banerjee appealed to intellectuals and other sections to hit the streets in protest.
“Kolkata today has shown the way. Come on to the roads. Let there be a struggle that will make the people victorious.”
She expressed doubts whether employees would get their salaries next month.
“When the decision was announced, everybody had received their salaries. What will happen this time?”
Earlier, Banerjee led a huge rally in the city with film personalities, writers, musicians, sportspersons and eminent persons walking with her.
Middle-class housewives, youths, industrial workers and common people besides professionals joined the rally as Banerjee herself raised slogans against Modi and his government.
First Published | 28 November 2016 9:21 PM