Tehatta, April 18: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said BJP leaders "from Delhi" who are bringing "outsiders" for campaigning, without COVID-19 tests, are responsible for the spike in coronavirus cases in the state.
The Trinamool Congress supremo also blamed the Election Commission (EC) for curtailing her campaigning time, for the ongoing assembly polls, by five days while turning a blind eye to her plea to club the last three phases of the polls in the wake of the surge in coronavirus cases.
"Leaders from Delhi are bringing in outsiders infected with the virus during campaigning without bothering to conduct COVID-19 tests. "I am not saying being infected with the virus is a crime. But the reckless act of the BJP has triggered the sudden rise in the number of coronavirus cases in recent times," the chief minister said. COVID-19 Surge in West Bengal: Mamata Banerjee Writes to PM Narendra Modi, Asks for 5.4 Crore Doses of Coronavirus Vaccine.
Claiming that a BJP candidate in Howrah district went on campaigning despite being infected by the virus, Banerjee asked "Why couldn't he sit at home and desist from campaigning?"
"Our party never takes such a risk," she added. Alleging that the EC is showing an "unfavourable attitude" towards her, the chief minister said "Earlier they had taken away an entire day of my campaigning. Now in the last three phases, it has curtailed campaign time by 4 days. As a result, I will not be able to address 20 meetings in south Bengal districts."
Cautioning people against allowing "outsiders to occupy Bengal," the TMC supremo said, "This election is for saving the honour of the womenfolk of Bengal and safeguarding the integrity of the state."
Reminding the electorate that she did not allow the National Population Register (NPR) exercise in Bengal, she said "Remember your vote is important to prevent them (BJP) from coming to power, to prevent them from introducing NPR, National Register of Citizens (NRC), and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)." West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021: Mamata Banerjee Holds Roadshow From Dhakuria Bridge to Kalighat Crossing in Kolkata (Video).
"When people protest against misdeeds and oppression, the BJP instigates firing and kills people. BJP only knows to loot, instigate riots and kill people," Banerjee alleged.
Wishing people on the occasion of the approaching Annapurna Puja, Basanti Puja, Ramnavami, and Ramadan, she chanted 'Chandi shlokas' and then wished members of the Muslim community.