Mounting a scathing attack on the Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee and her government in West Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said they were running a “syndicate raj” in the state. He urged “people of Bengal” to “be united and hopeful” like people of Tripura — where BJP ended Left rule this March — to “uproot the syndicate raj”.
Addressing crowds at the Krishak Kalyan Samabesh in Midnapore, Modi said: “The TMC uses the syndicate to extort, kill Opposition cadres, snatch farmer produce, and for vote-bank politics, appeasement politics. The syndicate gets to decide where farmers will sell their crops and at what rate, where bags of cements, sand and tin will be brought from. One even needs its permission to get admitted to colleges.”
“The days of every tormenter ends. The TMC should read the writing on the wall in Bengal. People of Bengal will not spare those who do not believe in democracy, courts and the election process… Bengal is waiting for an opportunity to remove the shackles. People of Bengal have to be united and hopeful like Tripura residents to uproot the syndicate raj,” he said.
The present state government, the PM said, was “worse” than the previous Left Front government. “Did you get freedom from Leftists to choose a worse government? The Left Front destroyed the industrial growth of Bengal, and the Mamata government has dragged it down further,” he said.
“Be it starting a new business or floating a new company or even opening a new school or hospital, nothing moves ahead unless the ruling party-controlled syndicates are taken into confidence… These syndicates were behind the major scam of chit funds in Bengal,” he said.
Referring to the cut-outs of the Chief Minister near his meeting venue, Modi took a swipe at Banerjee: “I am grateful that she is folding her hands, it seems she is welcoming me.”
Responding to the Prime Minister’s remarks, the TMC hit back, accusing the BJP of running a syndicate of “corruption” and “lynching”.
TMC leaders Partha Chatterjee and Derek O’Brien, in a statement, said: “Who knows better than the BJP leaders about syndicate? Your party is a syndicate that peddles religious extremism. Your party is a syndicate for fanatics. Your party is a lynching syndicate and a torture syndicate. Your party is a syndicate of corruption. So, BJP leaders should not play with fire. Try as you may to harass us with your agencies, we will not bow down to any syndicate.”