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February 5, 2019

‘Save India’ protest in Delhi next week: Mamata Banerjee

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today called off the ‘Save India’ dharna at Metro Channel, Kolkata. She took this decision on the request of all the Opposition leaders. However, the protests will continue in Delhi next week (February 13-14).

Highlights of the Chief Minister’s speech:

We want to thank everyone from Omar Abdullah to Mehbooba Mufti, Babulal Marandi to Hemant Soren, Hardik Patel to Jignesh Mevani, Stalin, Tejaswi Yadav, BJD party, Arvind Kejriwal and others who have extended their support.

We want to thank all the associations, organisations and the cultural world for extending their support.

This is not a Trinamool dharna. This is a political ‘Satyagrah’ movement. I have maintained from the beginning. This dharna was to save our democracy, to save the Constitution, to save the federal structure, the IAS officers, administrative officers.

When we are fighting a battle collectively, I cannot take a decision without consulting all the parties of United India. We consulted with Chandrababu Naidu Ji, Tejaswi and even Devegowda Ji spoke to me this morning.

This dharna is a victory for Bengal. This is a victory for the country. This dharna is a victory for democracy, federal structure and the Constitution.

The Supreme Court gave a very positive verdict, for the people, by the people and of the people. We have decided to call off the dharna here today. However, the protest will continue in Delhi next week.

I have done dharnas in the past, sometimes for 21 days (against custodial deaths) and 26 days (during Singur movement). I can continue. But the request came from other political parties.

We have got justice from one pillar of democracy – the judiciary. The court has clearly said there can be no coercive action or arrest. They have repeated what they had said earlier, about meeting at a neutral place. We will abide by that. Our police has already initiated action to respond to Supreme Court order.

It came to my notice that Rajnath Singh, the Home Minister, has sent a letter to the Governor. The Home Ministry wants to know why Rajeev Kumar joined my dharna. The entire media – local, national and even international – were present. Did anyone see Rajeev Kumar on the dias with me?

Why have they lost their sleep over a police officer? Why are they having nightmares? They want to take action against Rajeev Kumar. What is this? He never joined the dharna. This is a blatant lie.

As per protocol, it is the duty of police officials to be present with the Chief Minister, Governor or the Prime Minister to give protection and security. That is the law. So, can they not even come here to talk to me?

There is a separate room next to this stage, where we even held a Cabinet meeting yesterday.

Do they think they can do anything? This is political vendetta. They are controlling all the central agencies and now want to control the state agencies also?

Mr Prime Minister, please resign from Delhi and go back to Gujarat, if people elect you.

They want to meddle in law and order, agriculture, education. They want to control everything. Is this a one-man rule? Then there is no need for democracy.

The Indian Constitution delineates the role of Centre and States. Both the governments have their own jurisdiction. They have become desperate.

From political parties to IAS/IPS officers, media to civil officers – no one is being spared. They think they are the only nationalists, and everyone else is an outsider.

We have to oust them from power. We have to oust, we have to oust, we have to oust.

Atrocities should be stopped. We will fight together. We will only allow Constitutional and legal provisions. We will abide by law. We are disciplined soldiers.

I have lakhs of police officers. They are doing their duty. DOes the SPG not accompany the PM to political meetings? Their police can go to political meetings and our forces cannot come to the dharna? What ‘kala kanoon’ is this?

The letter from the MHA is ‘valueless’. Don’t worry, we will respond to it.

They are very bad, very sad, very mad. May God bless them. May wisdom prevail on them.