‘BJP Won’t Cross Single Digits in Bengal’: TMC’s Five-Time North Kolkata MP Says INDIA Bloc Will Form Govt at Centre


Sudip Bandyopadhyay campaigns for the LOk Sabha polls. (News18)

Sudip Bandyopadhyay campaigns for the LOk Sabha polls. (News18)

On the issue of citizenship certificates being handed out, Sudip Bandyopadhyay said Mamata Banerjee was clear that CAA would not affect Bengal

Sudip Bandyopadhyay, the five-time MP from North Kolkata, has been a leader from the region for more than 20 years.

In the fray for the sixth time for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Bandyopadhyay — who is also the TMC’s Lok Sabha leader — will lock horns with his former colleague Tapas Roy who jumped ship to the BJP before polls.

News18 caught up with the leader who is busy with his campaign and he expressed confidence that the BJP will not cross single digits in West Bengal and the INDIA bloc will form the government at the Centre.

Edited Excerpts:

What’s the feeling on the ground?

I am on a roadshow for the past 40 days. People are very happy with chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s development work and will vote for TMC again. This is not the first time I am contesting. If we take together MP and MLA elections, I have contested nine times from this region. This is my home. I am in the fray for the tenth time and enjoying the experience.

What will be the result this time?

I am very sure that the INDIA bloc will come to power and NDA will go. They are nothing but a ‘jumla’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an interview with Network18, said he has never done politics on communal lines and it would be his last day in public life if he indulges in the Hindu-Muslim rhetoric. What do you have to say?

It is the philosophy of BJP to divide people. But this will never happen in Bengal. We are firm believers of secularism. That’s why they will not come to Bengal. They have been trying to win support in Bengal but to no avail.

Home Minister Amit Shah has said BJP will get more than 30 seats in the state. What’s your take?

They will not reach double digits, I am sure of that. Last time they won some seats but did nothing for the state. They are not giving Bengal its share of money.

The Centre has handed out the first batch of CAA certificates.

Everybody’s votes are registered in EVMs. Once the Election Commission allows them to vote, no citizenship or the lack thereof is valid. Mamata Banerjee has said the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will not be allowed here. How can people who voted here be declared foreigners?

BJP says TMC is corrupt and huge amounts of money have been recovered from its leaders. Any comments?

The allegations are not true. They have been using agencies like Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against opposition leaders. People will react this time. Nothing has been proved in courts against those who have been arrested till now.

What’s your take on Sandeshkhali?

The Sandeshkhali issue backfired for BJP. Women are now saying they were forced to register fake complaints. This shows the reality.

Your former colleague Tapas Roy is contesting against you. Will it be a tough battle?

When I contest, I only think of the votes I will get and the margin of my victory. I’m not concerned about my opponent.

Explore in-depth coverage of Lok Sabha Election 2024 Schedule, Voter Turnout, Upcoming Phase And Much More At News18 Website



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