Mamata Banerjee says Shah Rukh Khan victimised, calls BJP 'cruel, undemocratic'
- West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee addressed a meeting in Mumbai Thursday
- Several big names from Bollywood, including Swara Bhasker, Konkona Sen Sharma and Rahul Bose were present
- Mamata said there already exists a cultural bridge between Maharashtra and West Bengal and invoked Tagore’s poem on “Shivaji”
Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, took to her state ambassador Shah Rukh Khan’s defense in Mumbai Wednesday saying that the Bollywood superstar has been victimised. Coming down heavily on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the Centre, Mamata Banerjee said the BJP is a “cruel and undemocratic party”.
Mamata Banerjee, who’s party the Trinamool Congress, is seeking to make a national impression by spreading to as far as Goa in the west to Tripura in the east is on a two-day trip to Maharashtra in what political observers believe to be a coalition-building exercise ahead of the 2024 elections.
In Mamata Banerjee’s Mumbai speech, veteran film director Mahesh Bhatt also found mention. “Mahesh ji, you have been victimised. Shah Rukh Khan has been victimised. If we have to win, we have to fight and speak out wherever you can. You guide us and give us advice as a political party,”
The West Bengal chief minister further said that India as a country loves manpower and not muscle power. “We are facing a cruel undemocratic party the BJP. If we are together, we will win,” the Trinamool chief said.
In her speech, Mamata Banerjee referred to the close link between Maharashtra and Bengal and invoked Bengal’s iconic poet Rabindranath Tagore and his poem on the Maratha king Shivaji.
Mamata Banerjee’s victory against the BJP in the West Bengal Assembly elections catapulted her into national politics as a potential leader of a combined opposition. She is being helped by ace political strategist Prashant Kishore and has been on a recruiting journey taking in several popular faces from across the country into her party.
Banerjee’s inroads into spaces where the Congress was dominant shows that she seeks to occupy spaces that an apparently anchorless Congress is struggling with. The Congress, on the other hand, has accused Mamata of “splitting the secular vote”.
Mamata Banerjee’s Wednesday meet in Mumbai was attended by activists Teesta Setalvad and Medha Patkar, former Congress leader Sanjay Jha, Sudheendra Kulkarni, Shatrughan Sinha, author Shoba De, and a large-sized contingent from Bollywood, including Swara Bhaskar, Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen Sharma.