In his first visit to West Bengal since the release of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft on July 30, BJP president Amit Shah on Saturday targeted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for “keeping the Bangladeshi infiltrators” and urged the people of the state to uproot the incumbent Trinamool Congress government.
“We want to ask Mamata Banerjee why is she protecting the Bangladeshi infiltrators. All that she has done is protest against the NRC. But NRC is the process to throw illegal migrants out. Shouldn’t Bangladeshi migrants be thrown out?” Shah questioned while addressing a public rally in central Kolkata.
He alleged that the Bangladeshi infiltrators were a vote bank of the previous Communist government and now, they had become a vote bank of the TMC. Read HIGHLIGHTS of rally here.
Accusing the CM and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi of indulging in “vote-bank politics”, Shah said, “Rahul Gandhi and Mamata di should clarify whether national security is important for them or vote bank. For the BJP, the country comes first.”
He added: “You can oppose us as much as you want but we will not stall the process of NRC. Neither Mamata nor Rahul Gandhi can stop the BJP from doing it.”
— BJP (@BJP4India) August 11, 2018
A political slugfest has erupted ever since the “complete draft” of the NRC excluded over 40 lakh people in Assam. Of the 3.29 crore people who had filled in applications for the NRC in 2015, 2.89 crore people found their names in the draft list.
The BJP leader alleged that the Bangladeshi infiltrators were earlier a vote bank of the Communist government and now, a vote bank of the TMC.
While stating that some people talk about human rights of illegal migrants but questioned the similar rights of the citizens of Bengal, that is Hindus and Muslims, he said, “They don’t bother about that.”
Referring to TMC posters saying ‘Anti-Bengal BJP to leave Bengal’, the BJP leader said the saffron party is neither anti-Bengal nor anti-Bengali but is against the “misrule” of TMC.
Mamata didi, what kind of Bengal are you trying to make? During Durga Puja, immersion of Maa Durga’s idol is not allowed, Saraswati Poojan is not allowed in schools. Soon there will be a BJP govt in Bengal, and no one will dare to stop Durga Puja and Saraswati Pooja. pic.twitter.com/W0wh72Jcmx
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 11, 2018
Shah also accused the TMC government of “patronising” corruption and wondered where did the Rs 3.59 lakh crore provided to the state by the 14th Finance Commission go. “I want to ask everybody has anyone received any benefit from those funds. All the factories in Bengal have pulled down their shutters, only bomb-making and arms factory are operating here,” he said.
Alleging that the TMC government had tried to put hurdles during the immersion of Durga idols, he said, “Once the BJP comes to power in the state, Durga puja, Saraswati puja will be celebrated with fanfare. Until the BJP assumes power in Bengal, our Vijay Rath will not stop.”
Urging the people to uproot the TMC government, Shah said, “Earlier we used to hear the sound of Rabindra sangeet but now, we only hear the sound of explosions.” The BJP chief was referring to the violence and crude bomb blasts that marred the panchayat elections this year.
Shah also accused the CM of making sure the BJP’s rally is not aired by local channels. “The signals of all Bengali channels have been lowered so that the people will not be able to watch us. But even if you try to suppress our voices, we will visit every district in the state and ensure the TMC is thrown out,” he said.
The TMC, however, refuted the charges. Taking to Twitter, the party said, “The BJP have just concluded another flop show in Bengal. After the flop meeting, the BJP are looking for excuses. They are saying their meeting was blacked out. Blackouts and blackmailing are what BJP does. Don’t insult the media. All showed. We challenge the BJP. Either they prove it or resign.”
BJP have just concluded another flop show in #Bangla After the flop meeting BJP are looking for excuses.They are saying their meeting was blacked out. Black outs and blackmailing is what BJP do. Don’t insult the media. All showed. We challenge BJP. Either they prove it or resign
— AITC (@AITCofficial) August 11, 2018
Earlier in the day, the BJP chief was shown black flags by youth Congress workers upon his arrival at the city’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. The Congress workers raised anti-Modi and anti-Shah slogans and also tried to block his convoy by lining up motorcycles on the street.
(With PTI inputs)