Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jagat Prakash Nadda on Thursday alleged that the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has an “anti-Hindu mindset” and accused it of pursuing “minority appeasement” politics.

“Mamata didi imposed a lockdown in West Bengal on August 5 [the day of the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya] and crushed the dreams of crores,” Nadda said, addressing the newly formed party’s executive committee in the state. “In sharp contrast, [the] lockdown was withdrawn due to Bakrid on July 31. This shows that the state government’s policies are driven by an anti-Hindu mindset and appeasement politics.”

Nadda said the BJP would bring development in the state if elected to power. “Bengal’s picture and fortune will change and the lotus symbol [BJP’s election symbol] will bring this change,” the party president said. West Bengal Assembly elections are due next year.

He further accused the Trinamool Congress workers of stealing ration being distributed among the poor during the coronavirus crisis and called for removing such a party from leading the state. Nadda also spoke about the spate of killings of BJP workers and asked why the “champions of democracy” remained silent on it.

On the Assembly elections in the state, Nadda said that the vote percentage of the party has increased after each polls. “In 2011, we had just two seats with 4% vote share,” he said. “In 2014, the vote share increased to 18%, with two seats. In 2019, we rose to 40% vote share. We need to continue at the same speed in Bengal and defeat [the] TMC [Trinamool Congress] in the upcoming Vidhan Sabha elections.”

Nadda told his party workers to remember that the Narendra Modi-led government in the Centre gave West Bengal an All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences worth Rs 1,745 crore. The BJP chief added that when he was the Union health minister, he gave Rs 600 crore to increase the bed facility by 400 at the Chittaranjan cancer centre.

The BJP leader highlighted that the Centre had announced a Rs 20,000-lakh-crore package as part of Covid-19 relief measures. Out of the total amount, he said that Rs 3,000 crore was meant for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. “I request party chief Dilip Ghosh and other MPs to help those who need a loan to set up their business,” he said.

He also raised the incident of vandalism at the Visva Bharati University campus on August 17. “Even Rabindranath Tagore’s legacy was sullied by Trinamool Congress-backed land mafia at Visva Bharati University at Santiniketan.”

Violent protests had broken out in the Visva Bharati campus against the university’s decision to construct a boundary wall in an adjoining open ground where the Poush Mela is held.