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Modi Ji, this isn't personal: Mamata Banerjee

Mamata Banerjee
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Mamata Banerjee

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'Khela Hobe till BJP ousted from Centre'

Kolkata: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called for the opposition to unite against the BJP on Wednesday, pointing to the "threat" posed to democracy by what she called a "surveillance state" in the aftermath of the Pegasus scandal.

The Chief Minister, who was addressing the people online on Martyr's Day -- a first since her landslide victory in the state elections -- said she would go to Delhi on July 27 or 28 and will be available for an opposition meeting if one is held

A number of opposition leaders heard her address in Delhi and other cities where it was played live on giant television screens.

"Three things make democracy -- media, judiciary and the Election Commission – and Pegasus has captured all three," said Ms Banerjee, whose nephew and senior party leader Abhishek Banerjee was also a potential target for surveillance, according to the group of 17 media organisations across the world that investigated the leaked surveillance lists.

Calling the Israeli military grade spyware "dangerous" and "ferocious", Ms Banerjee said she cannot talk to other opposition leaders now as her phone is also tapped.

Appealing to the Supreme Court to come to the nation's aid, she said, "Save the country, the democracy. Can't you take suo motu cognizance as all phones are tapped? Set up a panel to probe... Only judiciary can save country".

Then in a ferocious attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she said, "Mr Modi, don't mind. I am not attacking you personally. But you and may be the Home Minister -- you are deploying agencies against opposition leaders. You are misusing the agencies."

Slamming the BJP-led NDA government for its "monumental failure" in handling the second wave of the Covid crisis, the TMC supremo termed the saffron party a "highly loaded virus party" which needs to be defeated at any cost.

She said all those opposed to the BJP and its "authoritarian regime" should defeat it. "BJP has taken the country to darkness, we all have to come forward to take it to new light," the Bengal leader said. "Khela Hobe" (will play), she declared.

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