Arriving in Delhi as announced earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today took her “Khela hobe” slogan to the national stage and declared that “Khela” will now happen in all states until the BJP is removed from across the country.
Addressing her supporters virtually during the 21 July Martyrs’ Day rally, the Trinamool Congress chief threw down the gauntlet with an eye on the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and launched a scathing attack on the BJP.
“The BJP took India to darkness, it will be ‘Khela Hobe’ till it’s ousted from the centre,” she said in her speech, which was telecast in various languages in different states including Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Punjab, Tripura and poll-bound Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
‘Khela Hobe’ was the electoral slogan of the Trinamool Congress in the run-up to the Bengal elections earlier this year.
Speaking at the rally, the Trinamool chief announced that August 16 will be celebrated as “Khela Diwas” which will be marked by distributing footballs to poor children.
“‘Khela’ will happen in all states until BJP is removed from the country. We’ll celebrate ‘Khela Diwas’ on Aug 16. We’ll give footballs to poor children,” she said.
Attacking the Narendra Modi government over the Pegasus spyware row, Mamata Banerjee said the BJP wanted to turn India into a surveillance state instead of a democratic country.
“Our phones are being tapped. Pegasus is dangerous and ferocious. I cannot talk to anyone. You are paying too much money for spying. I have plastered my phone. We should also plaster the Centre otherwise country will be destroyed. BJP has bulldozed federal structure,” Mamata Banerjee said.
The West Bengal chief minister alleged that money collected as a tax on fuel is being used by the BJP to spy on its opponent.
Her remarks come in the wake of a major controversy that has erupted amid reports that several prominent political leaders were potential targets of Israeli spyware. The Wire had reported that INC leader Rahul Gandhi, former election commissioner Ashok Lavasa, recently-appointed railways, communications and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and junior Jal Shakti minister Prahlad Patel, along with poll strategist Prashant Kishor and Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee were allegedly targeted for surveillance by the Pegasus spyware.
Speaking about her recent poll victory against the BJP in West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee said that her party had triumphed after fighting against all the odds. “We want to congratulate the people of the country and my state. We fought against money, muscle, mafia power and all agencies. Despite all odds, we won because people in Bengal voted for us and we received blessings from people in country, world,” she said.
Following the victory in Bengal, the Trinamool Congress had vowed to spread its wings in other states to achieve a pan-India presence.