Launching yet another salvo at the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday (February 11) said the upcoming state election will be a contest between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “vikas (development) model” and TMC’s “(vinash) destruction model.”
The BJP’s ‘Parivartan Yatra’ journey in West Bengal was aimed at bringing in transformation in the governance of the state, to root out corruption and build a “Sonar Bangla”, he said at a poll rally in Cooch Behar on Thursday.
Shah, who launched a blistering attack on the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee, said that the yatra has not been organised to change the CM, MLAs or the ministers, but to end the corruption of ‘Bua-Bhatija’.
Shah, was addressing a large crowd of BJP supporters during the launch of the fourth phase of a month-long Parivartan Yatra, which started on February 6. As part of the yatra, the BJP will take out five rallies across the state ahead of the assembly elections in West Bengal due in April-May.
Shah said the upcoming assembly poll will be a contest between the “vikas (development) model” of the Narendra Modi government and Mamata Banerjee’s “vinash (destruction) model”.
The home minister said while the Modi government works for “jan kalyan” (public welfare), the Mamata dispensation is bothered only about “bhatija kalyan” (nephew’s welfare).
In his address, Shah minced no words and lambasted the Mamata government asserting that “TMC goons cannot stall BJP’s march to power in West Bengal.” The BJP will rid West Bengal of infiltration, unemployment, bomb blasts, and bring a change in the state of farmers, he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had criticised Banerjee on her intolerance towards ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans at his first election rally at Haldia a couple of days ago. Shah too brought up the same issue declaring that chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans has become a crime in the state. He then upped the ante to question her, “Mamata Didi, if slogans of Jai Shri Ram are not raised here, will it be raised in Pakistan?”
He also added that Mamata Banerjee, who wants votes from a specific community only gets angry at ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan, but she will herself begin chanting it by the time the assembly polls are over.
The former BJP president also brought up the issue of Ayushman Bharat Scheme, which according to the leaders of the union government are not reaching the people of West Bengal because of the state government’s insecurity. Mamata is blocking the Modi government’s 115 schemes to help the poor and needy, he accused. “Modi government works for ‘jan kalyan’ (public welfare) and Mamata for ‘bhatija kalyan’ (nephew’s welfare),” he mocked, adding that Mamata is focussed on making her nephew the next Chief Minister.
Shah also warned TMC functionaries, who he referred to as “goons”, who were walking free after killing 130 BJP workers, that they will be behind bars soon after the BJP government comes to power.
Stating that the Bengal assembly polls will be a battle between Narendra Modi’s “development model” and Mamata Banerjee’s “destruction model”, Shah accused the West Bengal government of misgovernance. He said that Mamata and TMC government have ruined the law and order situation.
And he reeled of some statistics on the crime rate in Bengal. According to him, in deaths, Bengal stands at No. 4, while in attempt to murder and political murders, it stands at a dubious No. 1. In crimes that seriously injure people, it stands at the third position and in violent crimes, at the third spot. In women torture, it stands at No. 1, he said.
Shah then went on to announce a number of poll promises, which included a pledge to spend ₹500 crore and build a Rajbanshi Cultural Centre in the Cooch Behar region, as a tribute to the legends of Rajbanshi community. He also promised to create a tourist circuit, which will involve the Madan Mohan mandir in Cooch Behar and other mandirs from the region as well. Shah pointed out that it is the BJP that supports cultures, literature and traditions of every community and take them forward. However, the TMC and Communist parties have done nothing for development in the state, according to Shah.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, too, had on Sunday lambasted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for not implementing several central schemes in Bengal. He had said people expected her to show ‘mamta’ (affection) but instead they got ‘nirmamta’ (cruelty).
At his first public rally in the poll-bound state, Modi had levelled accusations of “corruption and misgovernance” at the TMC government, and said the ruling dispensation had committed “several fouls” in the last 10 years. The PM also used a football analogy to say that once elections are over, the people of the state will show the Ram (red card) to the TMC.