Bengal thrives on merit, cannot allow it to turn into Gujarat: CM Mamata

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee speaks during a meeting, in Kolkata.

Taking a jibe at the

oft-repeated claim by BJP that the Gujarat model of development will be implemented in West Bengal should the party win the next state polls, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said that the people will have to prevent this from happening.

The national anthem, the national song and the 'Jai Hind' slogan were all given to the world from West Bengal, she said at an event here.

"Bengal thrives on excellence and merit. We cannot allow to turn it into Gujarat", the TMC supremo, who is a vocal critic of BJP, said.

"The soil of Bengal is the source of life. We have to protect this soil. We have to take pride in this. There is no one who can come from outside and say this place will be turned into Gujarat," the TMC supremo said iterating her 'outsider' charge against the saffron party.

"Our message is that we are for all... Humanity is for all whether he is a Sikh, Jain, Muslim or a Christian. We don't allow any division among them", she said.

Referring to the new strain of COVID-19, she said it is very strong and every one will have to be very cautious and take extreme care of their health.

Like dengue changes character, the same thing has happened in the case of COVID-19. "A flight from the UK which reached the Kolkata airport carried two passengers who have tested positive. All flights to the UK have been cancelled," Banerjee said.

"Now winter has come and cold and fever are automatic companions. So there is a need to take extra care like wearing masks, sanitizing phones and clothes," she said adding if people take extra care then COVID-19 can be defeated.

"Our government has decided to award the coronavirus warriors either with money or jobs," the chief minister said.

Banerjee said during the year the artistes have not been able to earn money due to the pandemic. The government will hold 630 fairs from December to January and different departments will participate in them.

Folk and other artistes will be allowed to perform in these fairs, which will help them overcome the fear of COVID- 19. But the regulation of physical distancing will have to be maintained, she added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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