Intensifying his attack on the Mamata Banerjee-led government over continued political violence in West Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday claimed that there will be more desertions to the BJP from the TMC and that the Chief Minister will be left alone in her party by the time elections arrive.
His assertion came on a day Bengal political heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari along with nine MLAs of different parties and a TMC MP joined the BJP at Shah’s rally in Midnapore.
“By the time elections arrive, Mamata Banerjee will be left alone in her party,” Shah said while taking potshots at the TMC over a string of desertions ahead of next year’s Assembly elections for 294 seats.
“I want to say it clearly that the BJP will form the next government in the state with more than 200 seats… political violence and intimidation by the TMC won’t yield any benefit. BJP president J P Nadda’s convoy was attacked, so many our party workers have been killed.
“The more violence you (the TMC) perpetrate, the more stronger the BJP will emerge,” Shah said.
Former TMC leader Adhikari, on the other hand, said his new party will form the next government in the state.
“I had first met Amit Shah during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls… When I was down with COVID, my former party did not enquire about my health, while Amit Shah twice enquired about how I am,” he said addressing the rally.
Noting that the BJP believes in nationalism and pluralism, Adhikari alleged that the TMC wants to divide the state on the lines of “insider” and “outsider”.
“Shame on the TMC for such narrow politics,” Adhikari said as the crowd roared. “I am being called a traitor by those who themselves (TMC) are traitors. Had the BJP not been there, TMC would have never come into existence. In the next assembly polls, BJP will win Bengal and TMC will be defeated,” he said.
Shah is on a two-day visit to the state to take stock of the party’s affairs ahead of the Assembly elections. The Home Minister visited the birthplace of Swami Vivekananda in north Kolkata in the morning and said that the ideals of the 19th-century icon are more relevant in the present-day world. He also visited the Siddheshwari Kali Mandir in Habibpur and paid floral tributes to the revolutionary Khudiram Bose.
On Sunday, he is scheduled to visit Visva Bharati in Shantiniketan followed by a roadshow in Bolpur. The BJP’s state chief Dilip Ghosh has said that Shah and party president J P Nadda would visit West Bengal every month till the Assembly elections, likely in April-May, are over.
(With inputs from PTI)