Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday attacked the Trinamool Congress on charges of corruption against it, suggesting that the ruling party in West Bengal functions on “scams”, while the Bharatiya Janata Party works on “schemes”.
“It doesn’t matter which government launches a scheme, the TMC finds a way to scam people,” Modi said at an election rally in Bankura district. “The TMC runs on the mantra – where there is a scheme, there is a scam.”
The prime minister reiterated the criticism of the Mamata Banerjee-led government not implementing multiple Central schemes in the state. He claimed that Banerjee did not allow Central policies like the medical insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat, and the cash transfer scheme for farmers, PM-KISAN, because they eliminated corruption through direct benefit transfer.
Speaking specifically on Banerjee, Modi said that the West Bengal chief minister gets irked by his questions. “Now she says that she does not even like my face,” Modi said. “Didi, faces do not matter in democracy. You are judged on what you have done for the people.”
Referring to election-related graffiti drawn by TMC supporters, in which Banerjee was shown kicking Modi’s head, the prime minister said that it was an insult of the tradition and culture of West Bengal.
“In the graffiti, Didi is kicking my head, she is playing football with it,” Modi said. “Kick my head if you want, but I will not let you kick away development in Bengal.”
Addressing Banerjee, the prime minister said that the people of West Bengal would not have voted for her 10 years ago if she had shown her “real face”. “What has appeasement and vote bank politics turned you into?” Modi said. “Why did you speak of Maa, Maati, Manush (mother, land, people) when you had to ring in violence and oppression.”
Referring to the BJP’s election slogan of “aashol poriborton” (real change), Modi claimed that it meant the development of the state and implementation of government initiatives, strict action against those involved in corruption and uplifting the pride of West Bengal.
West Bengal will vote in eight phases starting on March 27. Results will be out on May 2.