'PM doesn't have guts to take Abhishek Banerjee's name'

Even PM doesn't have guts to take Mamata's nephew's name: Abhishek Banerjee

"The centre of attack of all parties -- BJP, Congress and CPI(M) -- is 'bhaipo', but they cannot take the name, they cannot take the name of Abhishek Bandopadhyay (Banerjee).

Trinamool Youth Congress chief Abhishek Banerjee, who is the nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Credit: PTI Photo

Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday said that no BJP leader, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has the guts to take his name and use innuendos like 'bhaipo' or 'bhatija' (nephew) to level charges against him.

The Trinamool Youth Congress chief, who is the nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, claimed he has taken these leaders to the court whenever he was targeted.

"The centre of attack of all parties -- BJP, Congress and CPI(M) -- is 'bhaipo', but they cannot take the name, they cannot take the name of Abhishek Bandopadhyay (Banerjee).

"Even the prime minister does not have the guts to do so, nor do the other leaders of the BJP," the two-time Diamond Harbour MP said while addressing his first public rally ahead of the assembly elections due in April-May next year.

Claiming that the prime minister had said "bhatija ka batti gul hone wala hai" (nephew is set to lose) during a BJP rally in Diamond Harbour before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Banerjee said the saffron party has only one thing to say -- 'bhaipo' or 'bhatija'.

"I have taken legal action whenever I was targeted," Banerjee, who had sent a defamation notice to Modi after his Diamond Harbour rally in May last year, said.

Banerjee said after leaving the TMC in 2017, Mukul Roy had made false accusations against him at a public meeting.

"I had taken him to the high court and he was defeated in the legal battle," Banerjee said.

"BJP leaders like Dilip Ghosh, Rahul Sinha, Babul Supriyo, Kailash Vijayvargiya and even Amit Shah and Narendra Modi had on various occasions made accusations taking my name. I had taken legal action against them and given appropriate responses to them in court.

"That is why they are not taking the name directly and are saying 'bhaipo'. I request them to take my name if they have the guts," he said.

Banerjee said instead of speaking in innuendos, the BJP leaders should have the guts of taking his name, asserting that he will again take them to court and make them "bite the dust".

"Here I am taking the name of Kailash Vijayvargiya when I say he is an outsider, that Dilip Ghosh is a goonda, mafia, I am taking the name of Amit Shah to say that he is an outsider," Banerjee said.

He challenged them to take legal action against him for taking their names while making the accusations.

"It will be proved in court as to who is speaking the truth, dudh ka dudh, pani ka pani (everything will be crystal clear)," he said.

He questioned as to how many times did Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya or BJP national secretary Sunil Deodhar come to West Bengal or the party's state chief Dilip Ghosh went to the people since the coronavirus-induced lockdown began in March.

"If anyone stood by the people during the tough times, it was Mamata Banerjee. From distributing masks to food items among people amid the pandemic and spending days and nights at Nabanna (the state secretariat) during super cyclone Amphan, she was always beside the people," he said.

Banerjee claimed that the prime minister had flown in for only 30 minutes to see the disaster caused by super cyclone Amphan and sent Rs 1,000 crore as assistance, while the Mamata Banerjee government has spent Rs 7,000 crore for the purpose.