Calling Banerjee a ‘ failed administrator, Shah said the BJP’s ‘Parivartan Yatra’ is not for changing a chief minister, MLA or minister but ending inflitration and transforming the condition of West Bengal.
Union home minister Amit Shah on Thursday, launching a scathing attack on West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, claimed that the upcoming state Assembly elections would be a fight between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “development model” and the Trinamool Congress’ “destruction model”.
Shah was addressing a rally in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar before flagging off the fourth of five ‘Parivartan Yatras’ — launched by BJP president JP Nadda on 6 February — criss-crossing the poll-bound state.
Dubbing Banerjee a “failed administrator”, Shah said the BJP’s ‘Parivartan Yatra’ is not for changing a chief minister, MLA or minister, but ending inflitration and transforming the condition of West Bengal.
Shah said the yatra is also aimed at ending corruption patronised by “Bua-Bhatija” combine.
Change is evident in West Bengal. Flagging Off @BJP4Bengal’s #PoribortanYatra from Cooch Behar. পশ্চিমবঙ্গে যে পরিবর্তন হচ্ছে তা স্পষ্ট। কোচবিহার থেকে @BJP4Bengal‘s #PoribortanYatra ‘র সূচনা হলো। https://t.co/bU5kyOk0Fh
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) February 11, 2021
The BJP has been accusing Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek, the Lok Sabha MP from Diamond Harbour, of “institutionalising corruption”.
Shah claimed large-scale infiltration into Coochbehar district, which shares border with Bangladesh, has caused significant changes in its demography.
“This ‘Parivartan Yatra’ is not for changing a CM, MLA or a minister. It is for ending infiltration, it’s for the transformation of Bengal. You vote the BJP to power in Bengal. Leave alone illegal immigrants, not even a bird from across the border will be allowed to enter the state,” Shah said.
Shah alleged that Banerjee gets angry at ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan, but will herself begin chanting it by the time Assembly polls are over.
“Such an environment has been created in Bengal that raising Jai Shri Ram slogan has become a crime. Why does she get angry after hearing Jai Shri Ram? Mamata didi, if Jai Shri Ram is not chanted here, will it be chanted in Pakistan?” he asked.
The West Bengal chief minister had refused to speak at an official programme to celebrate Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary after “Jai Shri Ram” slogans were raised from the audience in Modi’s presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
She had later branded the BJP as a group of “outsiders” and accused the saffron party of insulting Netaji.
At Thursday’s rally, Shah said the BJP is ready to take on the “goons” of the ruling TMC. “You think that we can get intimidated by the TMC goons? They cannot stall BJP’s march to power. Once we are in power, each and every perpetrator of violence that led to the killing of BJP workers will be thrown behind bars,” he asserted and claimed that “TMC goons” have so far killed more than 130 of its workers.
He asserted the BJP will bag more than 200 of the state’s 294 seats.
According to the Indian Express, Shah alleged that the TMC and Communist parties have done nothing for the state’s development and said the BJP works with the ideal of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’. He added that the party takes cultures, literature and traditions of every community ahead.
Shah said that after coming to power in the state, the BJP will spend Rs 500 crore and build a Rajbonshi Cultural Centre in the region as a tribute to the legends of Rajbonshi community, which has a sizeable population in West Bengal’s Coochbehar and parts of Assam.
He also pledged to build a tourist circuit, which will include the Madan Mohan mandir in Cooch Behar and other mandirs from the region, according to The Indian Express report.
According to a report by News18, Shah also announced a new ‘Narayani Sena Battalion’ in the paramilitary forces and said that the training centre will be named after ‘veer’ (brave) Chila Roy. He said that the parivartan yatra is to fulfill the dream of “sonar bangla” and appealed to the people to vote for the BJP.
The Modi govt will form a Narayani battalion in the para-military forces to pay tributes to the bravehearts that stopped the Mughals.
— BJP (@BJP4India) February 11, 2021
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 Banerjee dispensation is bothered only about “bhatija kalyan” (nephew’s welfare).
As per the News18 report, the Union Home Minister accused Banerjee of blocking Central schemes including the ‘Ayushman Bharat and PM Kisan Samman Nidhi in the state and assured the Ayushman Bharat health scheme will be implemented in the first Cabinet meeting after coming to power.
“The people of Bengal have made up their mind to elect a BJP government. At its very first cabinet meeting, the new BJP government will take a decision to transfer Rs 12,000 to the bank accounts of each farmer which they could not get as Mamata di refused to join the PM Kisan scheme,” news agency PTI quoted him as saying.
“BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi can only ensure good governance in Bengal,” the News18 report quoted him as saying.
Earlier this week, countering Nadda’s allegations of denial of PM Kisan benefits to farmers in the state, Banerjee had said “BJO pnly lies”, according to a NDTV report.
“They say Mamata is blocking farmers’ money (but) did you not get Krishak Bandhu (a state scheme for farmers) money? Now tell Modi to send the money he promised,” the report quotes her as saying. She further alleged that the state government had sent the names of farmers to the Centre but it was not sending the money.
At the rally in Murshidabad, Banerjee had also claimed that the Centre did not give any assistance to West Bengal for dealing with the devastation caused by cyclone Amphan last year, nor did it do anything to support the state to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the NDTV report, Banerjee also countered Nadda’s accusation of appeasement, saying, “They are lying about Hindus. Are we not Hindus? But we don’t say that just because we are Hindus we will hate Muslims… We don’t say that just because we are Hindus we will hate Buddhists… that is not in our culture.”
Nadda had referred to the West Bengal permitting Muharram celebrations during the coronavirus lockdown but not permitting Saraswati Puja celebrations.
Likening herself to a Royal Bengal Tiger, Banerjee asserted that she is not a weak person who can be intimidated by the BJP.
Polls to the 294-member Bengal Assembly are expected to be held in April-May.
With inputs from PTI
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