BJP president Amit Shah drew the battle lines at a rally in West Bengal's Purulia on Thursday as he sounded the poll bugle ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
In a scathing attack on Mamata Banerjee, Shah said that the West Bengal chief minister "believes only in violence" and said that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) “is full of goondas (thugs).”
“I pray to god to give me the strength to throw Mamata out of power as she believes only in violence. The TMC workers did not allow people to cast their vote. I challenge Mamata that the blood of BJP workers will not go in vain,” Shah said.
Urging people to vote for his party, Shah said that the 2019 elections will decide the future of Bengal and added that only BJP can do development of Bengal.
Speaking about the recent political killings in Bengal, Shah said that violence was not in the culture of the state. “More than 65 BJP workers were killed in the violence in Bengal and more than 1,341 workers were injured. Bengal once revelled in the tunes of Rabindra Sangeet... but now, because of TMC goondas, the state has been drowned by sounds of the explosion from bombs lobbed by Mamata's supporters.”
"If TMC thinks that through violence they can continue to remain in power in Bengal, then I would like to challenge them that the sacrifice of our workers will not go in vain and their govt will not last long," he added.
Pointing out to the ‘dire state of infrastructure’ in the state, the BJP president accused the TMC of depriving the state of clean water and electricity.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development schemes are not reaching the people of Bengal because they are stopped by Mamata’s govt. The BJP govt has done its best to stand by the TMC govt. it has given 3.6 lakh crore rupees to the Bengal govt... I ask now, where has that money gone if it hasn't reached you... was it looted by TMC's syndicate?” Shah quipped.
If Trinamool Congress thinks that through violence they can continue to remain in power in Bengal, then I would like to challenge them that the sacrifice of our workers will not go in vain and their govt will not last long: BJP President Amit Shah in Purulia #WestBengal pic.twitter.com/qFyUOhemWZ
— ANI (@ANI) June 28, 2018
"Under the UPA government, the 13th Finance Commission gave West Bengal only Rs 1,32,000 crore, while in the 14th Finance Commission, the BJP-led government gave Rs 3,60,000 crore for the development of the state," he added, as per ANI.
Development schemes of Modi government are not reaching to the people of West Bengal because of TMC government: BJP President Amit Shah in Purulia pic.twitter.com/NvU2q3aGQ0 — ANI (@ANI) June 28, 2018
Shah alleged that Mamata had put up banners in Hindi, especially for his visit. “Mamata has put up banners in Hindi so that I can understand them... they say ‘Mamata is the choice for a brighter Bengal’. I ask her why people in Purulia still have to fetch potable water from 5 kilometres away. The only development that has happened in Bengal is that of TMC goons.”
Under the UPA government, the 13th Finance Commission gave West Bengal only Rs. 1,32,000 crore to West Bengal while, in the 14th Finance Commission, the BJP led government gave Rs. 3,60,000 crore for the development of the state: BJP President Amit Shah in Purulia pic.twitter.com/VyrgGltD7w
— ANI (@ANI) June 28, 2018
He also questioned the TMC govt on why it had failed to stop illegal immigration from Bangladesh and slammed Mamata for her efforts to stitch together a grand alliance.
“Mamata has recently taken an initiative to form a grand alliance of Opposition parties. Let me tell her she should be careful as she is steadily losing her own ground in Bengal. BJP is already the number-two party here... and after winning more than 22 seats in the 2019 elections, we will emerge as the number-one party,” Shah said.
Earlier in the day, Shah visited the Tarapith Temple in Birbhum district and offered prayers. Following the rally, Shah will meet family members of two BJP activists — 35-year-old Dulal Kumar and 20-year-old Trilochan Mahato — who were killed in Purulia district on 2 June and 31 May respectively.
Purulia, located on the West Bengal-Jharkhand border, has emerged as the latest flashpoint of the rivalry between Mamata Banerjee's TMC and BJP, which is making efforts to increase its footprint in the state. The Purulia killings were highlighted by the BJP to attack the state government regarding the state's law and order situation, and the BJP president is expected to bring it up again during his trip to the state.
Though the eastern state is a TMC stronghold, the BJP was enthused by its performance in the panchayat polls. The state BJP unit also prepared a blueprint 12 months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, which will be submitted to Shah during his visit.
With inputs from agencies.
Updated Date: Jun 28, 2018 16:39 PM