Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday launched a no-holds barred attack on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, but without taking his name, and said leaders who were born with silver spoon in mouth should not talk big.
“Leaders from Delhi are claiming they have given us crores of rupees and we never spent it. Those who never knew what poverty is, those who were born as landlords, they are talking big,” Mamata said while addressing a rally at Naxalbari in Darjeeling.
Hours earlier, Rahul Gandhi, addressing a rally at Nagrakata in Jalpaiguri district, had criticised the state government saying money sent by the central government was not properly utilised.
“Upstart leaders from Delhi are saying a lot of funds are provided to Bengal. Do you know accounts? Did you ever do it and do you know what work is? Do you know how funds come and are spent and how they are returned,” Mamata asked.
She said she does not want to take names of such persons as they were “not worth mentioning”.
Attacking the Centre for trying to “economically starve” Bengal and dwelling on interest payment for the loans taken by the earlier Left Front government, she said, “Those who have taken away Rs 74,000 crore towards debt repayment are talking big. They have not given us Rs 87,283 crore, which we are entitled to. Funds are due for many schemes…we are not getting our dues.”
Mamata also took on Rahul Gandhi for saying that the roads in Bengal are so bad that a two-minute journey takes 20 minutes here.
“The roads are not under the state government. They are national highways and are the responsibility of the Centre,” Mamata said, adding that her pleas to repair them had fallen on deaf ears.
Throwing a challenge, Mamata said, “Don’t dare me to open my mouth. If I do that, many things will come tumbling out…I am like a ferocious tornado. No one can touch me. I am not afraid of Delhi. Try and touch me and see the result. After the elections, you will have to fall at our feet”.
‘Will not allow division of Bengal’
Accusing the BJP of trying to create fresh unrest in Darjeeling to divide West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the division would not be allowed while she is alive. “We have brought back peace in Darjeeling. BJP which aligned with Congress to divide Andhra Pradesh is now trying to create fresh unrest in Darjeeling. Their excuse is that small states can be governed better. They are now planning to divide Bengal on the same pretext,” Banerjee said at an election meeting here.
“Even at the cost of my life, they cannot divide Bengal,” she said while stating, the hills were a part of the state. Referring to the 2009 Lok Sabha polls when Jaswant Singh won the Darjeeling seat as a BJP nominee with GJM backing, Banerjee said, “Did the BJP not promise five years ago to divide Bengal? They have come again and are saying the same thing.”
She further said, “We have given them (GJM) the administration through the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration which has been formed there,” she said.
She described party candidate Bhaichung Bhutia, former Indian football captain as an asset for the state. “He will be able to discharge responsibilities well if he is elected.” Bhutia is pitted against senior BJP leader S S Ahluwalia for the Darjeeling seat.