Hitler-like dictatorship in the country: Mamata Banerjee while criticising farm bills being “forcibly passed”; calls for Opposition unity

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday accused the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre of imposing dictatorship, ruining the federal structure in the country while criticising “the manner in which the farm bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha on Sunday”.

Eight MPs – including Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen – have been suspended over chaos in the house on Sunday when the controversial farm bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha. There was major opposition and protests when the bills were being passed and several Opposition MPs tore up papers and broke microphones.

“I am protesting the way matters unfolded in the Parliament on Sunday,” Banerjee said, calling it a “black Sunday, when rights of poor farmers were throttled”. She said that Trinamool Congress parliamentarians had been sent to voice their say for the rights of the poor and “not to seal their lips with surgical plaster”. She said the rules were flouted by not allowing the Opposition voices to be heard. “A majority in the Parliament does not mean shutting the voices of the Opposition, but that’s exactly what happened yesterday,” she said.

Banerjee called for Opposition unity and said the Trinamool Congress was even willing to be part of the last row in the protests. She said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government was paving the way for food scarcity across the country, which was already reeling under the impact of the COVID pandemic, job losses and its impact on the nation’s GDP.

“The Centre is not giving us the GST compensation – though they are collecting it from the states. They offered us nothing following the Amphan cyclone, other than an initial Rs 1,000 crore. They are looting the country and selling it off to the rich businessmen. This is a government of the middlemen and the powerful,” she said.

Banerjee said that those who are opposing the Centre and its policies were simply being stamped as “anti-nationals”. “Even persons like Yogendra Yadav, Sitaram Yechury are being named,” she said. “Any voice of protest is being targetted.”

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