West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged on Friday that some local news channels had ganged up with the opposition to make a hue and cry over rape and violence in the state and reiterated that there was a conspiracy to kill her.
Naming a local media house running a television news channel and two others critical of her government, Banerjee told a panchayat election rally in Asansol, "They are systematically using the Congress, Communist Party of India-Marxist and the BJP for propaganda against the government doing good work, for terror, murder and rape."
When her naming the channels caused commotion at the rally, the chief minister, warned, "Don't lay a finger on them. We will tackle them legally."
Her comments came on a day when a cross section of intellectuals and people hit the streets to protest against the spurt in crimes against women in the state.
Dwelling again on the allegation that a conspiracy was afoot to eliminate her, she said, "There is a conspiracy to kill me and party general secretary Mukul Roy. The CPI-M, Congress, BJP and Maoists have joined hands."
"The CPI-M should remember that if one Mamata Banerjee is killed lakhs of Mamata Banerjees would be born. I am not cowed by threats. I am not afraid of death, but if I die I will die like a hero. My life is a struggle for justice for 35 years," she said.
Admitting that 'one or two' incidents had taken place which were 'definitely bad', the chief minister said, "It has to be seen whether the government has taken steps or not. Perpetrators have been arrested within 24 hours. What else do you want? The TMC did not commit rape."
Asserting that the perpetrators of the rape and murder at Barasat would be punished swiftly, Banerjee said that the government would give the chargesheet seeking the death penalty in a fast track court.
Targeting talk shows in the three news channels, she said, "The participants get money and give advice posing as social reformers. Those who are giving sermons are being touted as social reformers. Anti-socials have been made social reformers. Everything is possible if you have money. How are those who have no contribution to society be made social reformers?" Banerjee wondered.
Claiming that the CPI-M was trying to create chaos and destabilisation, she claimed that the party would not be able to return to power in next 30 years. "The people will wipe you out.”
Alleging that the party had amassed huge wealth during its tenure, she asked the CPI-M to deposit its ill-gotten money in banks in Singapore, Switzerland and Indonesia.
"Go to Cuba and Venezuela. They have no place in Bengal," she claimed.
Stating that the opposition was not happy at peace returning to Junglemahal she warned Maoists. "I respect the Leftists, but not those who extort money and kill people with their faces masked. I call them goondas."