BJP national president Amit Shah Tuesday kicked off his party’s Lok Sabha campaign in West Bengal when he tore into the Trinamool Congress for forging an alliance with other parties and running alleged scams and syndicate raj in the state. Addressing a public meeting at Habibpur in Malda district, Shah lambasted the Mamata Banerjee government for not allowing BJP’s Rath Yatra in Bengal and not giving permission to land his chopper.
Vowing to uproot the TMC government from Bengal, Shah said, “I have come here to kick off our election campaign in Bengal. We have to take a pledge today to remove this undemocratic, corrupt, anti-people and murderous TMC government from power. This election will mark the beginning of the end for TMC in Bengal which has killed democracy and politicised the administration.”
Slamming the state government for denying permission to his party to hold Rath Yatras, the BJP national president said, “Mamata Banerjee got scared and did not allow us to take out Rath Yatras here. She was certain that if we take out the yatras then it will signal her antim yatra (last journey). If you stop us from taking out Raths, then we will take out rallies and hold meetings. Now her government did not give permission to land my chopper. If you do not let us land the chopper, then I will speak from the helicopter. You cannot stop us from coming to Bengal. The more you stop us and beat up our workers, the more lotus will bloom in Bengal.”
He also hit out at TMC over Saradha, Narada and Rose Valley scams and said half of the central government funds for her government is amassed by Banerjee’s party leaders. “Another half of the money is amassed by infiltrators. If we come to power here then we will not allow infiltration in Bengal. She keeps mum as they are her party’s vote bank,” he said.
Shifting his focus to TMC’s United India rally in Kolkata where 25 Opposition leaders forged a grand alliance against the BJP-led NDA government, Shah described it as a selfish alliance. “What kind of alliance is this? Their agenda is clear. They want to remove Modi. Our agenda is clear. We want to remove poverty and unemployment. Mamata Banerjee cannot remove Modi by holding hands with four to five leaders. This alliance will not work as they want a majboor (helpless) government but we want a majboot (strong) government,” he said.
Describing Shah’s speech displaying BJP’s nervousness, the Trinamool Congress said that it was ‘low on facts and poor in taste’, adding that it seemed the saffron party had realised that its days were numbered.
“After listening to the BJP president’s speech in Malda, it’s obvious that they are very nervous. They know their days are numbered. They are politically-scared. Their speeches are low on facts and poor in taste,” TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien said. “They (BJP) don’t understand the ethos of India. They don’t understand the ethos of Bengal. They are heading towards one big zero (in West Bengal in the general election),” he said.