PM should worry about winning own seat before talking of Bengal: Mamata
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday kicked started his election campaign in Bengal with a scathing attack on Mamata Banerjee and the Congress from twin rallies at Thakurnagar a hot seat of the Matua community in North 24 Parganas and the industrial city of Durgapur in West Burdwan district.
Mamata retaliated by saying that Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh should worry about winning their own Lok Sabha seats before dreaming of victory in West Bengal. The TMC supremo’s attack on two BJP leaders came shortly after the two launched a blistering attack on her while addressing separate rallies in West Bengal during the day.
Launching a no-holds barred attack on Mamata, the PM who had to quit the venue in the midst of his speech apparently to save a stampede-like situation, wondered, “Why Didi is scared of CBI so that she had to ban it from entering her State,” in an apparent reference to the ongoing investigations in the multi-crore Sharada and Rose Calley chit fund cases even as he reminded, “even I was quizzed by them for nine hours when I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat and yet did not prohibit their entry to my State.”
Attacking Mamata for perpetrating “violence” in order to stop the BJP from working in Bengal, he told an appreciably large rally at Thakurnagar “look at the huge canvas of people. Now I understand why Didi resorted to violence. Those who advertise to be democratic, kill innocent people,” adding “you cannot stop BJP from entering in Bengal,” and warning, “more you try to stop us forcibly the more we will grow in this State until you are dislodged after the elections.”
At Durgapur the Prime Minister attacked the TMC for treading the Marxist path of violence saying “they are no different from their predecessors” adding “the present Government is trampling upon democracy.” The TMC supremo had “lost her sleep” on account of the BJP’s popularity in Bengal, he said, accusing Banerjee of depriving the middle class and poor people of Bengal of Central schemes. “TMC Government is anti-poor, anti-people and anti-development. Just for political reasons she (Mamata) is blocking Central projects like Ayushman Bharat.
The Centre had approved infrastructure projects worth Rs 90,000 crore in the past four and a half years for the State but the TMC Government did not take interest in implementing them as it wanted a share for the “syndicates,” allegedly run by the ruling party goons in the State. Where there was no “malai” (cut money) for the syndicates the TMC had no interest in implementing development projects,” he said.
Pooh-pooing the TMC-sponsored January 19 mega rally of Opposition leaders at the historic Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata, Modi said, “Those who did not see eye to eye even a few months ago were seen on the same platform in Kolkata … with a single-point agenda to remove Modi to grab the PM’s chair.”
Attacking the newly formed Congress Governments for “mindlessly” waiving loans Modi said “farmers of the country have been bamboozled in the name of waiving loans” as many non-farmers had got their loans waived in the confusion. Like the BJP tried to do by offering Rs 6,000 yearly package for the farmers in the “super hit Budget” and instead of focusing on the development of rural areas the opposition leaders were taking tricky steps to befool the farmers.
Referring to the steps taken for the farmers in the interim Budget and apparently needling the alleged syndicate raj run in TMC-ruled Bengal he said “there will be no syndicate-tax, no road-blocks in between as the farmers will directly receive the earmarked Rs 6,000 directly in their bank accounts.”
At Thakurnagar predominantly a Matua hotbed with the SC community constituting about 30 lakh voters Modi said “those who advertise to be democratic, kill innocent people” to win votes. Matuas had migrated to Bengal from neighbouring Bangladesh post 1950 in the face of religious persecution.
Making a strong pitch for the Citizenship Amendment Bill that had repeatedly been rejected by Banerjee the Prime Minister called upon the Trinamool to “support the clearance of the Bill in Parliament and enable those who had to migrate to Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Bangladesh,” (during the turbulent post-Independence period) to get back Indian citizenship. The Bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Sunday, 03 February 2019 | Saugar Sengupta | Thakurnagar/North 24 Parganas
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