Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday attacked the ruling Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal, saying the party has given rebirth to the Left rule of corruption and lawlessness, reported the Hindustan Times.
“Mamata Banerjee’s government turned out to be a rebirth of the Left Front rule and the misrule and lawlessness under this regime was far more fearful than that of the Left Front government,” Modi said at a rally in Haldia in East Medinipur district. “The government empowered corruptionists and ‘tolabaaji’ [extortion] and ensured that Bengal lagged behind in progress when compared to other states in the region.”
The prime minister said that the people wanted Banerjee to bring changes in the state, but instead she paved the way for “corrupt politicians to set up shop once more”.
This is Modi’s second visit to the state within two weeks ahead of the Assembly elections. During his first visit, on the occasion of freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary, Banerjee had refused to speak at the event as “Jai Shri Ram” slogans were chanted when she rose to address the gathering.
Taking a dig at the controversy, Modi said in Haldia that the chief minister is annoyed by the chants of “Jai Shri Ram”, reported ANI. “In Bengal, if you talk to Didi [Mamata Banerjee] about your rights, she gets frustrated,” the prime minister said. “She even gets annoyed if slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ are raised. But if somebody speaks against the country and spits poison, she does not get angry.”
The TMC government does not have the courage to raise their voice for “Bharat Mata”, Modi said. “That’s because these people have criminalised politics, institutionalised corruption and politicised the police,” he added.
Using a football analogy, Modi said that the people of the state are ready to show “Ram card” to TMC now. “Bengal is a state that loves football,” he said at the rally. “In the language of football I want to say that the Trinamool Congress government has committed many fouls. The people are ready to show them Ram card.”
Modi also accused the state government of misappropriating Centre’s relief fund in the wake of Cyclone Amphan, according to PTI. He alleged that the farmers in the state were deprived of benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi initiative.
Modi spoke about the Marichjhapi incident and expressed his condolences towards the kin of those who died during the forcible eviction of Bengali refugees on a tiny island in the Sundarbans in 1979 by police gunfire, starvation, and disease.
The prime minister said only a Bharatiya Janata Party government can free the state of mismanagement. He appealed to the people to vote for the BJP government to experience a “real change”.
Modi’s visit, part of BJP’s campaign for the state Assembly pools, came a day after party chief JP Nadda flagged off the first Parivartan Rath Yatra.
“It [the Parivartan Rath Yatra] is not just the change of the government but the change of thinking,” Modi said in Haldia. “Mamata Banerjee came to power a decade ago with the slogan ‘Ma Mati Manush’ [Mother, People and Soil]. But down the line the mother was looted, the people weren’t protected and the soil was disrespected.”