Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Monday raised the “Khel Jatlo” slogan while exuding confidence that her party will win the forthcoming Goa Assembly elections, and said if anyone wants to defeat the BJP in the coastal state, it is up to them to support her party.
Terming Goa as a “cute, beautiful and very intelligent” state, Ms Banerjee, while addressing local Trinamool leaders, said her party has entered the poll fray not to control the state or become chief minister, but to use their experience to help the Goan people in the elections.
The Trinamool has already forged an alliance with state’s oldest regional outfit – Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) – for polls to the 40-member Goa Assembly due early next year.
Ms Banerjee, who is on a two-day visit to Goa, expressed confidence that her party will win the state polls along with the MGP.
“If anyone wants to defeat the BJP, then it’s up to them to support us,” the West Bengal chief minister said.
Ms Banerjee said she has a plan for Goa, just the way she had for West Bengal, which will be implemented in the coastal state within six months of coming to power.
She said earlier her party had not thought of contesting in Goa, but when it was realised that other parties were not giving a fight to the BJP, the Trinamool decided to jump into the poll fray here.
“All these years we did not come to Goa, but we realised no one was doing anything. No one was fighting against the BJP. That is why we thought of coming here,” she said.
In a veiled reference to the Congress, Ms Banerjee said, “When you can fight against us in West Bengal, why can’t we fight against you in Goa. We want to work with you, but we will fight (on our own). We won’t listen to you and do “half understanding” with the BJP.”
Ms Banerjee said there will be “Khel Jatlo” in Goa. She had earlier raised the “Khela Hobe” slogan during the West Bengal Assembly polls campaign.
“BJP ke khilaf me khela hobe, khel jatlo, BJP hatao,” the Trinamool chief said, while raising the pitch for ousting the BJP from power in Goa.
She said films and football are among various things that connect West Bengal and Goa.
Several football legends from West Bengal would be arriving in Goa to campaign for the Trinamool along with local leaders, she added.
Ms Banerjee further said she had lent a lot of support to the Konkan Railway Corporation Limited project in Goa during her tenure as the country’s railway minister.
“I had also come for the inauguration of the project. That time, we never thought of contesting from Goa,” she said.
Ms Banerjee also accused the BJP of creating a fake video by showing visuals of Bangladesh to project it as human rights violation in West Bengal.
“We have gone to the Supreme Court against the video. They (BJP) want to finish West Bengal, they want to finish Mamata Banerjee, ” she said.
“Let them do it. Let us fight, let us work, that’s why we have come here. We have not come here to control Goa or become the chief minister. Goan people will be the face (in the elections), we will help them with our experience,” Ms Banerjee said.
In the 2017 Goa Assembly elections, the Congress had emerged as the single largest party, but failed to form government. The BJP, with the support of some regional parties and independents, then came to power in the coastal state.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)