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His Brigade tune: win-win with Didi once, Sonar Bangla a constant

The promise of development and of bringing back a “Sonar Bangla” (Bengal of gold) has remained a constant theme in Modi's speeches from 2014 through 2019. He spoke of “asol poriborton” (real development) on Sunday as well.

Written by Ravik Bhattacharya | Kolkata |
Updated: March 8, 2021 7:45:50 am
And as he talked of Pulwama-Balakot during his re-election campaign in 2019, the Prime Minister accused “Didi and her friends” of “speaking against the nation”.

The Prime Minister, who predicted on Sunday that the game was over (“khela shesh”) for the Trinamool Congress, had in 2014 invited voters to choose a win-win of Narendra Modi in Delhi and Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata.

Aapke dono haath mein laddu,” he told an election rally at the same Brigade Parade Ground in 2014.

By the time the West Bengal Assembly elections came round two years later, Modi was targeting Mamata over the Saradha scam and attacking the “syndicate culture” in the state.

And as he talked of Pulwama-Balakot during his re-election campaign in 2019, the Prime Minister accused “Didi and her friends” of “speaking against the nation”.

The promise of development and of bringing back a “Sonar Bangla” (Bengal of gold) has remained a constant theme in Modi’s speeches from 2014 through 2019. He spoke of “asol poriborton” (real development) on Sunday as well.

“I want to talk straight to the people of Bengal,” Modi told a Janachetana Sabha at Brigade on February 5, 2014. “Help the BJP win all [Lok Sabha] seats this time. You have ended 34 years of Left rule in Bengal. You have a new government here. Let Mamata Banerjee work for you here. Question her on results. Give me all seats from Bengal, bring poriborton in the country. Then question me on what we do in Delhi. Aapke dono haath mein laddu…

“Good work by the state government alone will not suffice to change the fate of Bengal,” Modi said. “The government in Delhi should work for Bengal too. I promise if you bring a change (in Delhi) we will bring back Sonar Bangla.”

The BJP won two Lok Sabha seats from Bengal in 2014.

On April 17, 2016, ahead of Assembly elections, Modi spoke at the Sahid Minar grounds on the Kolkata Maidan. “What was the crime of the [27] innocent people who lost their lives in the Vivekananda Bridge collapse [near Posta on March 31 that year],” he asked. “The same people who are seen in Narada [scam] are also seen in Saradha and Vivekananda. These people are connected. Should one allow syndicate culture to go on? Will Bengal survive if this culture continues? Didi has added to all the ills the Left left behind.”

His dream was to “develop eastern India”, Modi said. “My first agenda is development. My second agenda is development at a fast pace. My third agenda is all around development.”

The BJP won 3 seats in the Assembly elections; its ally, the GJM, won 3 seats in the Darjeeling Hills.

The PM spoke at Brigade again on April 3, 2019. He attacked Mamata and the rest of the opposition for questioning the Balakot air strikes [of February 26, 2019], which followed the deaths of 46 CRPF personnel in a suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14.

“At a time when we are progressing towards a India that was envisioned by Swami Vivekananda, there are some who, in order to oppose Modi, are speaking against Ma Bharti… Didi and her friends are speaking against the nation because they have lost political ground,” he said.

Referring to the January 19, 2019 ‘United India’ rally called by Mamata at Brigade, Modi said: “The other day, political leaders from different parts of the country gathered here, lifted their hands, and chanted, ‘Modi Hatao Modi Hatao’. Why? What crime did Modi commit? Is it a crime to give toilets to homes? Is it a crime to give houses to the poor? It is a crime to give electricity in homes?”

The BJP won 18 seats out of 42 in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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