Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said that voting the Bharatiya Janata Party to power in West Bengal will put an end to infiltration in the state, reported PTI. Shah was speaking at a public rally at Namkhana in South 24 Paraganas district, where he launched one of the “Parivartan Yatras” – a campaign trail programme of the saffron party.

“This Parivartan Yatra is not for changing a chief minister, or a minister,” Shah said. “It is for ending infiltration and transformation of Bengal. You vote for the BJP, leave alone illegal immigrants, not even a bird from across the border will be allowed to enter the state.”

On February 11, Shah had said that Citizenship Amendment Act will be implemented after the countrywide coronavirus vaccination programme ends. The BJP has repeatedly said that the Act will weed out “illegal immigrants”.

Shah again attacked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for refusing to speak last month at an event to celebrate Subhash Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary after “Jai Shri Ram” slogans were raised. “Why do you feel insulted by slogans of Jai Shri Ram, didi,” he asked.

The home minister criticised the West Bengal government, alleging corruption in disbursing relief funds after Cyclone Amphan hit the state last year, according to PTI.

“The Central government had sent relief funds after Amphan cyclone, [but] the money was siphoned off by the Trinamool Congress leaders,” Shah said. “If voted to power, we will probe into this corruption. We will form a task force for saving lives from cyclones and environmental disasters.”

Mamata Banerjee challenges Shah

Meanwhile, Banerjee hit back at Shah at a rally in Pailan in the South 24 Parganas district. She challenged him to contest an election against her nephew Abhishek Banerjee first and then think of fighting her.

The West Bengal chief minister was responding to Shah’s “bhaipo” (nephew) jibe – a term often referred to by Opposition parties in the state, hinting at nepotism within Trinamool Congress.

“How come your son became a part of the cricket administration and made hundreds of crores of rupees,” Banerjee asked, according to PTI.

She also asserted that the ruling Trinamool Congress will “break all records, get most of the votes and win the highest number of seats” in the elections, scheduled in April-May.