Challenging Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee on her home turf, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah thundered in Kolkata that he would visit every district in West Bengal and 'uproot TMC from every corner' of the state.
Addressing his fifth rally in the state in the last one year, Shah said it was time for 'parivartan' (change) in West Bengal. On his way to the Mayo Road rally on Friday, the senior BJP leader was shown black flags by youth Congress workers when he stepped out of the airport. The workers raised anti-Modi and anti-Shah slogans and tried to block his convoy with motorcycles as well.
Talking about the posters that were put up on display a day ahead of Shah's visit, asking "BJP to leave Bengal", the saffron party chief said, "Trinamool Congress put up banners all along the way. Mamataji, I want to ask you, how can we be anti-Bengal, when our party was established by Shyama Prasad Mookerjee on this soil. Our love is not for votes, but from Ramakrishna Paramahans, Swami Vivekananda (and others)," Shah said at the rally.
He also claimed that television connections were made not to work properly so that his speech could not be broadcast across the state. "Signals of all Bengali channels have been lowered so that people will not be able to watch us. But even if you (Mamata) try to suppress our voices, we will go to every district of Bengal and throw TMC out. No one can suppress one's voice in a democracy," he asserted.
Shah also said he was 'not against Bengal, but I am against Mamataji.'
Shah asks Mamata Banerjee to clear stance on NRC
The National Register of Citizens final draft in Assam had recently created a furore in Bengal when TMC workers were detained at the Silchar airport, and were not allowed to meet those whose names were left out of the list. The West Bengal chief minister strongly opposed its publication and said it will destroy India's relationship with neighbouring Bangladesh.
"Out of 40 lakh people who don't find themselves in the final draft of the NRC published on 30 July, only one percent could be infiltrators, but the BJP is trying to claim that all of them are infiltrators," Banerjee had said, adding it could lead to a 'blood bath' and 'civil war' in the country. She also alleged that it was a 'game plan' to isolate and throw out Assam's Bengali-speaking people and Biharis.
Questioning her motives, BJP chief Shah demanded to know why she wanted to keep illegal immigrants in the country. "All Mamata ji has done, is to object against NRC. But NRC is the process to throw illegal immigrants out. Shouldn't Bangladeshi immigrants be thrown out?" he asked
He also said she changed her stance like a chameleon. "People change like chameleons. In 2005, she did not let the Lok Sabha function and said Bangladeshis should be pushed out. Today, she is singing a different tune because they form her core Trinamool vote bank," he claimed.
He further challenged Banerjee and said, "You decide what your first priority is, your vote bank politics or India's security." "I'm telling Mamata di, for us, the country comes first, vote bank later," he added.
Shah further said, "The NRC is being done in accordance with the Assam Accord. It was started during Rajiv Gandhi's tenure," he said.
Stating that the best way to stop infiltration into the country was through NRC, Shah said the exercise must conclude peacefully in Assam.
Further supporting his argument, Shah said: "People are talking about the immigrants' human rights. I want to ask TMC, are you not worried about the human rights, education, security and employment of Bengal's Hindus and Muslims that these Bangladeshi infiltrators have eaten into?"
'Law and order in shambles'
Claiming that in terms of crime rate, West Bengal broke all records, the saffron party leader said, "Law and order is in shambles. Where we earlier used to hear Rabindra Sangeet, today we can hear the echoes of bomb blasts. If you want back Bengal's former glory, we will have to bring in BJP as the state government."
He also brought up the deaths of BJP workers in the state and claimed it was the TMC that murdered them. "TMC killed 65 BJP workers here. If Trinamool Congress thinks they can murder and get away with it, they should remember when the public wakes up, they will have to vacate their throne," he said, urging people to vote for BJP.
Shah also said that if the people want to shake off the pall of corruption looming over Bengal, "under Narendra Modi's leadership, we will bring in the BJP".
"Uproot TMC and throw them out. Only then, can Bengal make progress. At the time of Independence, Bengal contributed 25 percent to the GDP. In seven years of her rule, Mamataji has brought it down to 3 percent," Shah said, adding that TMC, Congress and CPM cannot provide employment despite being given an opportunity, "Give Narendra Modi a chance and he will take Bengal forward."
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Aug 11, 2018 15:31 PM