About 24 hours after a scathing attack by the BJP at a public meeting addressed by party chief Amit Shah, the TMC’s youth wing inducted Sudip Sinha, brother of state BJP president Rahul Sinha, during a rally at the Shahid Minar Ground on Monday. “Sudip Sinha joined the TMC on Monday to be a part of the development that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has brought about here,” said TMC MP and CM’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
Almost all the heavyweight TMC leaders were present at Monday’s rally and lashed out at BJP chief Amit Shah, national secretary and party’s central observer for Bengal Siddarth Nath Singh and state BJP president Rahul Sinha.
Referring to Siddarth Nath Singh, party MP Abhishek Banerjee said that a person who has been appointed as the observer of Bengal couldn’t even read Bengali and had to be introduced as the grandson of former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri. “Singh had said that Mamata was afraid. Yes she is. Because the BJP has come to power by inciting riots at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh and Muzaffarnagar in UP and we are afraid they would spark off a riot in Bengal between Hindus and Muslims to come to power,” he said.
Hitting back at the BJP’s allegations that the CM was shielding those accused in the Saradha scam, he said, “The BJP leaders who point their fingers at us should be told that it was their leader Bangaru Laxman who was caught on camera taking a bribe. Wealth of ministers like Sadananda Gowda has increased from Rs 9.88 crore to Rs 20.88 crore in just three months. The PM hardly spends any time in India. They want to oust Mamata from here but by 2019, she will be ruling in Delhi,” Abhishek said.
As the TMC leaders took turns to slam the BJP, state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee referred to the Saradha scam and said those crying foul must remember that a red diary recovered in the Sahara investigation named Amit Shah and Narendra Modi among beneficiaries of the chit fund scam. He alleged that at the recent BJP rally addressed by Amit Shah, party leaders instigated BJP supporters to chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’ while the azaan was on at the Tipu Sultan Masjid in the vicinity.
TMC national secretary Mukul Roy said that only eight months ago, BJP leader Rajnath Singh had claimed that the Centre was ignoring Bengal; however, once in power at the Centre, the party had not helped the state with a single penny, he said. Rejecting the recent reduction in power and fuel prices as a mere ‘juggling of figures’ Roy said that Mamata Banerjee was the only CM who had visited the hills and Junglemahal and worked to bring peace in the area.
State Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim alleged that the BJP had come to power with the help of money and publicity. “It is not only a communal force, it is a capitalist force as well. Looking at their Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, I think Modi should clean his heart first,” Hakim said.
Minister of State for Urban Development and BJP MP from Asansol Babul Supriyo also drew the ire of TMC leaders at the rally. “He needs to grow as a politician before making comments about Mamata Banerjee,” said Indranil Sen while Shankudev Ponda said, “He had been copying others as a singer and just as he couldn’t be successful as a singer he will not succeed as a politician.”