Tearing into the TMC and its leader and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the final hours of campaigning in West Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday invoked Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, saying “wherever Vidyasagarji is now, he must be watching which party is fighting for the protection of Bengal’s pride and which party is protecting infiltrators”.
Modi alleged that TMC workers vandalised the bust of Vidyasagar Tuesday and the West Bengal government was suppressing evidence like it did in the chit fund cases.
Earlier in the day, speaking in Mau in UP, he said his government was committed to Vidyasagar’s vision and would install his grand statue, made of panch dhatu (five metals), at the very spot in Kolkata where it was vandalised by “TMC goondas”.
Addressing a rally in Mathurapur, South 24 Parganas, the Prime Minister referred to the violence during BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata: “The kind of violence unleashed by TMC goons… democracy is in peril here… at night, the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagarji, a great educationist and reformer, was vandalised. That college had CCTV cameras. What is the reason that the (state) government is trying to suppress evidence like it did in Saradha and Narada (chit fund cases)?”
“This shows the level to which Didi can go for votebank politics. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagarji was not only Bengal’s pride but the country’s pride. Those who vandalised his bust should be severely punished. This is my demand… It is BJP’s priority to preserve Bengal’s pride and culture. Wherever Vidyasagarji is now, he must be watching which party is fighting for the protection of Bengal’s pride and which party is protecting infiltrators,” he said.
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“It is the BJP which raised the first voice against atrocities committed in Bengal. Here, there is a problem celebrating Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja. Here, saying Jai Shri Ram is a crime. Which party is the voice of Bengal? Which party brought such issues to the national platform? The answer is BJP. The people of Bengal have decided. It is with their support that the BJP alone will cross the 300-seat mark,” he said.
The thought of defeat, he said, had made Mamata Banerjee frustrated. “This morning, she threatened she will send me to jail. Yesterday, through the media, I saw Didi threatening to grab BJP offices. The people of Bengal are upset because you have such a mentality. They will send you packing,” he said.
In Dum Dum, Modi said: “Didi is abusing the Election Commission. Didi and her leaders are criticising the security forces, our bravehearts… It seems they are waking on the same path as the stone-pelters of Kashmir. Didi, same situation prevailed in the Left regime. Had the Election Commission, a Constitutional body not acted then, had the security forces not been on the ground in the state, you would not have become Chief Minister.”
“For four decades, Bengal has suffered. Three generations have been destroyed. I promise you, with your blessings, on May 23, Modi will become Prime Minister and then we will start the process of building Bengal,” he said.