Updated: February 1, 2021 12:44:17 am
Sharpening his attack on Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee ahead of the Assembly elections, Union Home Minister and senior BJP leader Amit Shah on Sunday accused her government of working for “bhatija kalyan” (welfare of the nephew) and said a spate of desertions in her party suggested that she will be left alone by the end of the polls.
In his virtual address during a BJP rally at the Domjur stadium in Howrah, Shah said, “ Modi government is working towards ‘jan kalyan’ (welfare of the people), and the Mamata Banerjee government is working towards ‘bhatija kalyan’ (welfare of the nephew) in Bengal.” He was referring to Banerjee’s nephew and Diamond Harbour MP Five Abhishek Banerjee.
TMC leaders, including former minister Rajib Banerjee, had joined the BJP in Delhi on Saturday. They were present at the rally on Sunday.
“There is a wave in favour of the BJP in West Bengal. The way genuine TMC, Congress and Communist leaders are joining the BJP family, Mamata didi, you will be left alone by the end of the elections,” he said.
“Mamata came to power by dint of her ‘Maa, Maati and Maanush’ slogan. But in the last 10 years, the slogan has disappeared and been replaced by TMC’s tanashahi, tolabaji and tustikaran (despotism, extortion and appeasement),” Shah said.
He said if the BJP came to power in West Bengal, it would first implement the Centre’s health insurance scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat’. He alleged that Banerjee had “opened the state for infiltrators” and accused her government of a performance worse than the Left rule. He said the people of the state would never vote for a party that “fights among themselves and hates the Central government for its own profit”.
Shah was supposed to address rallies in-person on Saturday and Sunday, but due to the farmers’ agitation at the Delhi border and a blast near the Israeli embassy, his state visit was cancelled. Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani was sent to fill in for him in Howrah.
Irani doubled down on the BJP’s corruption allegations against the TMC government and claimed it had “looted” rice and dal set aside by the Centre for those affected by the Covid-19 lockdown and failed to create jobs for lakhs of returning migrants.
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