CLAIMING THAT Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was suffering from “BJP phobia”, the party’s national president Amit Shah on Wednesday said that the BJP’s new slogan would be “Ebaar Bangla” (This time Bangla).
Shah also said that the BJP was fast becoming the main Opposition in the state and that the Left Front is concerned.
“After our performance in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa Assembly elections, BJP workers have given an ‘Ebaar Bangla’ (This time Bangla) slogan. These workers will engage in door-to-door campaigns and help bring Modiji’s Vijay Rath to Bengal,” Shah said during a news conference at Press Club in Kolkata.
“Earlier she (Mamata) used to attack the CPM and Congress. Now she is attacking only the BJP. It is a matter of concern for the communists. She is doing this because she is suffering from BJP phobia and seeing BJP in everything,” Shah added.
Targeting the Mamata Banerjee government over its handling of the state’s economy and law and order, Shah said, “There is no industry in the state. Only bomb-making industry has flourished here.” The sound of bomb blasts can be heard in a state where Rabindra Sangeet used to reverberate once,” he said.
The BJP chief also brushed aside Trinamool’s allegation that it was the BJP’s conspiracy to book ruling party leaders in Narada sting operation case. “There is no conspiracy. TMC leaders were seen on TV taking money. Can they deny that? The entire world has seen it,” he said.
Asked to comment on whether any Trinamool leader who has been accused in the Narada sting case got in touch with the BJP, Shah said, “No one is in touch with us. If anyone comes to us then we will give them the fitting answer.”
Shah also said that “people of Bengal were angry over the way TMC is indulging in politics of appeasement.”
“Can one imagine that immersion of Durga idols has to be done with the help of high court’s order, or Saraswati puja is not being allowed to be held? The way the government is treating the people of the state differently is alarming,” Shah, whose party has often accused the Mamata government of neglecting Hindus, said.
Responding to queries about attacks by cow vigilantes in some parts of the country, Shah said action was being taken against them. “Our message is loud and clear. Everyone must adhere to law and order. No one should take law in their own hands.
We have given them this message and cases have also been registered against them and arrests have also been made,” he added.
Asked to comment on whether the BJP would ban cow slaughter if it came to power in Bengal, he said, “We are at present expanding our organisation here. This is for the elected government to decide. But cow slaughter prohibition is in the preamble of our Constitution,” he said.
Maintaining that the BJP has not done anything to divide people on the basis of their religious faith, Shah said, “We don’t divide voters on the basis of who belongs to minority or majority, we only think of development of people.”
Stating that West Bengal is in a “pathetic shape”, Shah said, “We had thought after the end of the Left rule, the state would move forward, but six years of TMC dispensation has only caused despair.”
“The Left Front had left a loan burden of Rs 1.92 lakh crore on the people of the state, and now the state is saddled with a debt burden of Rs 3.5 lakh crore,” the BJP chief said.
“One-fifth of people in Bengal are below poverty line and labourers are in a very bad condition,” Shah said.
“While the Bengal chief minister went around the country speaking against scrapping of high-value notes, the state completely failed in tackling the menace of fake currency,” Shah alleged.
He rebutted Mamata Banerjee’s claim that the Centre had reduced allocations to the state under development schemes.
“I have figures to show that central allocations have gone up under various schemes. One cannot deny facts by conjuring something from thin air,” he said.
Claiming that the BJP-led NDA government has done a lot for the state’s development, Shah said the allocations to West Bengal were substantially raised by the 14th Finance Commission.
Reacting to Shah’s statements, the Trinamool stated that he said nothing new.
“It is old wine in new bottle. He could not see the development that has taken place during the TMC rule. One thing I can say is that in Bengal there is no alternative to Mamata Banerjee,” said party’s secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.