Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday assailed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the recent sit-in she staged against the attempted questioning of Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar by the CBI in the Saradha chit fund scam case.
Addressing a BJP rally in North Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district, the Prime Minister said it was for the first time that a chief minister had staged a dharna to protect the fraudsters who looted lakhs of poor people.
“People want to know Didi, why are you afraid of the chit fund case investigation? Why are you sitting on dharna for those involved in tampering with evidence?” Modi asked, adding that “this chowkidar will spare neither the perpetrators of chit fund scams nor those protecting them.”
As the pitch of the Lok Sabha election intensifies, the BJP has sent its top leadership to West Bengal after the Opposition parties rallied behind Banerjee to take on the Centre. Apart from PM Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and UP CM Yogi Adityanath also addressed rallies amid controversies of their helicopters being blocked from landing at the venue.
Lashing out at the West Bengal government, PM Modi said the government has defamed the ‘Maati’ (soil) and made the ‘Manush’ (people) helpless and the state that was known for its art and culture has now adopted the culture of violence.
“North Bengal is famous for 3Ts- Tea, Timber and Tourism’. These three industries have been disregarded, whether it has been the Communist government or Communist -Part 2 government, referring to the ruling TMC government. The development of these industries has not been catered to,” he said.
Slamming Mamata Banerjee, Modi said, “Ye rishta chai ka rishta, aap chai ugaane wale hain and aur mein chai banaate hoon. Chaiwaalon se Didi ko problem kya hai? Chaiwaalon se Didi ko kya problem hai? ” (You are tea growers and I am a tea maker, we have a ‘chai-relation’ with each other. What problem does Mamata Banerjee have with people who are in the tea industry?)
Modi also targeted the TMC government for not letting the ‘ choppers of BJP leaders from landing in the state. “Obstructions in BJP rallies, not giving permission for helicopters to land, attacks on BJP workers, are all signs that the TMC is losing ground in the state. Earlier there was no one to challenge the thugs of TMC, now the BJP has pledged to take on the thugs and syndicates of West Bengal,” PM Modi said.
Earlier, PM Modi laid the foundation stone for the four-laning of the Falakata – Salsalabari section of NH -31 D and inaugurated the new High Court Circuit Bench in Jalpaiguri. Following the inauguration, Modi said that people of Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling will no longer have to go to Kolkata to get their cases involving the high court resolved.
CM Banerjee, meanwhile, claimed that the Centre did not inform the state government or the high court about the inauguration of the circuit bench by PM.
“I feel ashamed to talk about this person (PM). Nobody from Kolkata High Court was present. All infrastructure was paid for by us. The land is ours, the circuit bench is of HC but nobody from them was there. It means the bride-bridegroom wasn’t there but the band party was there,” she said.
With the controversy over Rafale deal intensifying, Banerjee took potshots at Modi saying: “During the election, he (PM) becomes ‘Chaiwalla’, after the election he becomes ‘Rafale walla’.”