Shah, who held a roadshow in Bolpur and addressed a press conference in the evening, defended the Centre’s decision to write to the state government asking for three IPS officers to be sent to Delhi on deputation.
Asked when the CAA would be implemented, Shah said: “The Rules of CAA are yet to be framed, and such a big exercise cannot proceed in the middle of the pandemic. “Isliye jab tika lagne ki shuruwat ho jayegi aur corona ki cycle bhi thik ho jayegi, iss par hum zaroor vichar karenge. Aur jab karenge aapko suchi di jayegi. (Therefore, we will definitely consider this once we begin to administer the vaccine and the corona cycle ends. You will be informed when that happens.)”
“The letter which the central government sent to the state government is completely legal and has been sent as per Constitutional norms. It is very much within the parameters of the federal structure. She (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) must quote the rule of law before placing her opinion before the public and the central government,” Shah said.
The Home Minister spoke hours after the Chief Minister tweeted her thanks to Opposition Chief Ministers Capt Amarinder Singh, Bhupesh Baghel, Ashok Gehlot, and Arvind Kejriwal, and DMK leader M K Stalin for backing her government’s position on the Centre’s move to transfer police officers. The officers were in charge of Nadda’s security on the day his motorcade was attacked, allegedly by Trinamool supporters.
Shah said the attack had targeted democracy itself. “The TMC government is completely responsible for this attack. Such incidents take place because of the arrogance of power. The more you attack the more BJP gets stronger in Bengal.” Violence was at its peak in the state, and the TMC had killed more than 300 BJP workers, he alleged. “Corruption too is at its peak here. From Amphan relief fund scam to ration distribution scam — why is the state government not allowing a CAG special audit on these?”
Responding to a question on the TMC describing BJP leaders as “outsiders” in Bengal, Shah announced that only a “son of Bengal” would become the next Chief Minister of the state.
“Does she (Banerjee) want a country where people from one state will not visit another? …This is nothing but an attempt to mislead the people. Don’t worry, no one from Delhi will come to defeat you (Trinamool). Someone from Bengal and a son of the soil will challenge you and be the next Chief Minister of the state.”
Bengal, he said, “had a third of India’s GDP at the time of Independence; after three decades of communist rule and one decade of TMC rule, it has shrunk badly. Bengal contributed 30 per cent of India’s industrial production in 1947. Today, it has fallen to just 3.5 per cent. I want to ask both Mamata Di and the communists – who is responsible for this downfall?”
Earlier, at a massive roadshow in Bolpur, Shah said the upsurge of support for the BJP in West Bengal showed the anger of the people against the TMC government.
He had never seen a roadshow such this one, Shah, standing on a decorated, open-top vehicle, told thousands of workers and supporters of his party.
“This time people want a change to stop infiltration from Bangladesh, to put an end to the political violence in Bengal, to stop the practice of extortion, and to end the dadagiri of bhatija,” Shah said, referring to the Chief Minister’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee.
Shah was accompanied by state BJP president Dilip Ghosh, national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, party vice-president Mukul Roy, Union Minister Debasree Chaudhuri, MP Saumitra Khan, and former MP Anupam Hazra.
“I have come here to assure you that if you vote for the BJP, we will take Bengal on the path of development,” Shah said at the end of the roadshow. “We will create the Bengal that was envisioned by Rabindranath Tagore and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose… You have given a chance to the Congress, the communists and the TMC. Has Bengal seen development so far? Has infiltration stopped? Has political violence stopped? Has investment come? Now give one chance to the BJP. We assure you that we will turn the state into Sonar Bangla within five years.”
Later in the evening, senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim said: “They should make a Sonar Bharat first, then they may try for Sonar Bangla. Modi said they will create 1 crore jobs, but 21 crore people became jobless in his regime.”
Shah also visited Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan and paid homage to Tagore. He had lunch at the home of Bengali folk singer Basudeb Das Baul before the roadshow.
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