West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that Union Home Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata party leader Amit Shah’s lunch at an Adivasi party worker’s house in the state earlier this month was a “show-off”, PTI reported. She claimed that the food was ordered from a five-star hotel.
“A few days ago, our honourable home minister had come [to Bankura district], which was a show off,” Banerjee was quoted as saying by the news agency, at an event in Bankura. “Food items cooked in five star hotels were taken to the Dalit household. One Brahmin was also brought in from outside.”
Shah had tweeted pictures of his lunch on November 5. “Had amazing Bengali food at Shri Vivishan Hansda ji’s home in Chaturdhi village,” he said. “No words can express their warmth and hospitality.”
The West Bengal chief minister said that the people can see through such photo-ops. She alleged that the Centre will take everything away from the farmers, Dalits and Adivasis.
Banerjee also said that Shah had garlanded a statue during his visit, thinking it was freedom fighter Birsa Munda. “Later I heard people saying that it was the statue of a hunter,,” Banerjee said. “You cannot go on insulting us like this. From next year Birsa Munda’s birth anniversary will be a state holiday.”
Banerjee also said the BJP will immediately try to implement the National Register for Citizens in Bengal if it is voted to power in the 2021 Assembly polls. “They [the BJP] will ask you for birth certificates of your father, your mother, your grandmother and your grandfather,” Banerjee said. “And if you are unable to provide them with that, they will ask you to leave Bengal.”
Shah had landed in Kolkata on November 4. At an event during his two-day visit to the state, he predicted the fall of the Banerjee-led government and said that “public anger” against her regime was palpable. Shah also expressed confidence that the BJP would form the government in Bengal after winning a two-third majority in the Assembly elections next year.
Shah also accused Banerjee of not allowing the benefits of Centre’s welfare schemes to reach the poor. He added that the people of Bengal were hoping for change, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership could bring about.