Tearing into the ruling Trinamool Congress government, BJP national president Amit Shah on Wednesday said the Mamata Banerjee-led dispensation was worse than the previous Left rule.
“Five years ago people of Bengal voted for a change because it was required to end the 34 years of misrule by the Left. But after five years we see that the TMC government had been worse than the Communist rule. Now they want another change,” Shah said while addressing a public rally at Bhawanipur constituency from where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting.
Shah alleged that the only thing that flourished during the TMC rule was “syndicate raj”, which was directly responsible for the collapse of the Vivekananda Road flyover that had killed 27 persons. He said the Trinamool government could have cancelled the contract for building if, as they said, they were “unhappy” with the project.
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“The flyover didn’t fall down due to wind. It collapsed because of the syndicate. All materials – cement, iron, etc are supplied by Trinamool. The flyover is a symbol of corruption,” he alleged.
Syndicate is a racket for milking builders in the name of supplying inferior construction materials at a premium by people backed by political parties.
Continuing his attack against the Mamata government, Shah said the TMC had changed the names of many central schemes and claimed they were being sponsored by the state government. “Jan Dhan Yojana is being touted as a state government scheme as is the Rs 2-per-kg rice for the poor. The fact that the Centre pays a subsidy of Rs 27 a kg of rice is never spoken of,” he charged.
Further, he said, “I don’t know what else Mamata is but the whole country knows that she is a great painter whose work had been sold for over Rs 1 crore, likely bought by those involved in the Saradha scam .”
Slamming the Congress-CPM alliance in West Bengal, Shah said that while Rahul Gandhi and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee were sharing stage here, they were criticising each other in Kerala. “It proves that these parties are not for any principles but only for their political interests, to retain their seats,” he said.
“The CPM-Congress poll understanding is not a ‘joth’ (alliance) but a ‘ghot’ (nexus). We are waiting to see what these parties do in Rajya Sabha,” Shah added.
Urging people to vote for Netaji’s grandnephew Chandra Kumar Bose, who is the BJP candidate from Bhawanipur constituency, Shah said, “This is your opportunity to pay tribute to Netaji. Defeating the TMC in this seat can change the whole state as CM’s loss at her home turf will send the required message across the state.”
If voted to power, Shah claimed that BJP would stop infiltration from neighbouring Bangladesh into West Bengal. “Neither Trinamool nor CPM stopped infiltration of Bangladeshis to India as it is part of their agenda for creating votebank,” he said.
The BJP president said the party wants fencing along the porous Indo-Bangladesh border to stop infiltration. “If the BJP forms its government here, not even one Bangladeshi can enter India (illegally). That is why we had a border agreement with Bangladesh. We want fencing in the border so that there is no infiltration,” he said.
Ahead of Shah’s speech, BJP national secretary and co-convenor for Bengal Sidharth Nath Singh reiterated his trademark quote ‘Bhaag Mamata Bhaag’, and said he has vowed to ensure that Mamata is ousted in this Assembly election.
Actor-turned-MP Paresh Rawal, who also shared the stage with Shah, said that similar to the previous UPA government which had let all the agencies loose against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, Mamata too has ‘conspired’ against the Opposition here. “They hate the Modi government so much that when they got nothing against him, they coined a word called ‘intolerance’ and instigated student leaders in the conspiracy,” he said.
Former state BJP president and national secretary Rahul Sinha alleged that Mamata was not taking any action against her party leaders named in the Saradha and Narada sting cases because she would “end up in jail”.