Assembly Elections 2021 Updates: In an interview with PTI, Shah said people in Bengal are yearning for a change from TMC's 'misrule' and will embrace Narendra Modi's vision for the state's development
Assembly Election 2021 Updates: Home Minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday that the Congress' tie-up with the AIUDF will be a factor in the BJP-led alliance's win in the Assam assembly polls as voters will back the saffron party decisively because its main rival cannot stop the influx of illegal immigrants by joining hands with Badruddin Ajmal, accused by the ruling bloc of protecting infiltrators.
In an interview to news agency PTI, the senior BJP leader also predicted a thumping win for his party in West Bengal, asserting that people there are yearning for a change from the Trinamool Congress' "misrule" and will embrace Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for the state's development.
People will not allow DMK president MK Stalin to become the chief minister as they apprehend that anarchy will prevail in the state if the party was elected to power in the coming Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, Deputy Chief Minister and top AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam said at a campaign meeting in Mettupalayam.
Hitting out at the Narendra Modi government, CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday said the Centre had gone all out to "misuse" the probe agencies in Left ruled Kerala, but had failed to destabilise the state government. "Today they know that the Left and the LDF are the actual alternative and they are trying to misuse the agencies of the central government to try and destabilize the LDF government. They went all out and failed in the last five years.", he alleged
The Trinamool Congress has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission accusing BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari of "harbouring criminals" in Nandigram, where he is pitted against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. "It has come to our knowledge that Suvendu Adhikari, the candidate fielded by BJP in Nandigram has been harbouring criminals, who are non-residents of Nandigram," the letter dated March 22 said.
TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O' Brien alleged in the letter that no action has been taken by the local police and sought the Election Commission's intervention into the matter.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday dismissed opposition charges of conspiracy behind the double and multiple entries found in voters' list in poll-bound Kerala and said there was no "organised move" behind the incident.
Promising to solve the issues of recurring floods, illegal migrants and improve the condition of tea garden workers in Assam, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Yogi Adityanath accused the Opposition Congress of failing to solve them during its days in power in the northeastern state.
Appealing to one and all to avoid politics over illegal immigration, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said the BJP, if voted to power, will not allow infiltrators from Bangladesh to reside in Assam. Addressing an election rally in Lumding, he said the BJP government has set up electronic surveillance across the Indo-Bangla border in Assam to stop infiltration from the neighbouring country.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who has been pushing for Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) — a proposed minimum income guarantee scheme — promised people in poll bound Kerala that the scheme will be "tested" in the southern state if the party-led UDF is voted to power.
Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee alleged that the Centre is selling off government concerns and only Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "factory of lies" will remain.
Banerjee said that the BJP is advertising tall claims about what it will do for the people of Bengal, but the party has reneged on promises made in its manifesto for the Assembly elections in Assam and Tripura.
As far as the number of seats on which the party will contest is concerned, I will speak on that at a public meeting in Sagardighi on 27 March, said the AIMIM chief.
"Modiji had sent Rs 10,000 crore for Amphan relief. Did you see any of it? Bhatija' (Mamata's nephew) and company swindled central money sent for Amphan relief," alleged Shah.
Slamming the TMC government over Central funds, Shah said that the 'land of freedom struggle' has turned to 'land of 'lolabazi' and alleged that the funds were 'looted' by Mamata Banerjee.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is on the second day of his Kerala election campaign trail. He is visiting Kottayam and Ernakulam districts on Tuesday. The former Congress chief Monday addressed a poll rally in Kochi, where he lashed out at the BJP-led government at the Centre over rising prices of fuel.
Lahiri, was initially fielded from Alipurduar Assembly in north Bengal but his name had to be dropped after protests erupted within the state unit of the party. The party had to later field a local leader Suman Kanjilal from Alipurduar.
The BJP president spoke about the contentious issue of the National Register of Citizens. He said that the party will work on a corrected NRC for Assam.
"We will protect genuine Indian citizens and detect infiltrators to ensure the Ahom civilization stays safe. To protect Assam's political rights, we will speed up the delimitation process," he said.
Home Amit Shah will be addressing two election meetings in West Bengal on Tuesday. He will attend a public meeting in Gosaba at 12 pm and a roadshow in Medinipur at 3 pm.
Hitting out at the BJP over its promise to dole out "free" rice and pulses to people, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said the saffron party makes "tall promises" ahead of elections, and never delivers.
The TMC supremo, who held three poll rallies in Bankura district during the day, claimed that the BJP has "roped in goons to threaten people. "These goons might visit households and ask women with folded hands to vote for them or face the threat of being herded out," alleged Mamata.
"The BJP peddles lies before elections. They promise rice, pulses, chakri (job), everything. After polls, they are nowhere to be seen. I want to know what happened to the party's promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh in the bank accounts of every citizen (before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls). Be ready with cooking utensils to chase away such elements if they issue a veiled threat," the TMC supremo said, addressing the women.
She claimed that the saffron party has hired borgis (plunderers) from outside to "loot votes".
Mocking the BJP's promise of 33 percent reservation for women in government jobs, the chief minister said, "They couldn't take necessary steps to ensure 33 per cent female representation among elected representatives on different platforms."
"On the contrary, the TMC has already made sure that women get 50 percent representation in panchayat and local bodies. Also 40 percent of TMC representatives in Parliament are women," she said.
The BJP, in its election manifesto released on Sunday, promised "KG to PG" free education, 33 percent quota in government jobs, free travel in public transport for women, strict enforcement of the new citizenship law, and Rs three-lakh accident cover for farmers.
The party gave assurance that 'Annapurna Canteen' will be set up across the state to provide cooked food three times a day at Rs 5 per meal. It also said that subsidised ration would be doled out through the public distribution system - rice or wheat at Rs 1 per kg, dal at Rs 30 per kg, salt at Rs 3 per kg and sugar at Rs 5 per kg.
Accusing the BJP of issuing diktats over food and clothes in states where the party is in power, the TMC chief said, "They (saffron camp leaders) dictate whether someone should wear a sari or any other attire. They decide if a pregnant woman should eat eggs."
If the BJP is elected to power, it will roll out the NPR and NRC exercises and remove names of bona-fide citizens from these registers, she said.
"The party wants to change the history and geography of India... they change names of educational institutions at will. A cricket stadium in Gujarat has been named after Narendra Modi. One day they will change the name of our nation," she said.
"Narendra Modi will soon be projected as someone bigger than Ambedkar, even bigger than Tagore," she claimed.
Taking potshots at the saffron camp's vow to free Bengal of corruption, Mamata said, "We are yet to know the details of the money spent under PM-Cares Fund. What all has been going on under the garb of disinvestment is no secret. I, on the other hand, don't take single paise as salary. I have forfeited my allowance as a former MP, and as an MLA."
"Modi babu, you should explain why you are so eager to sell off stakes and close down Coal India, BSNL, MTNL and SAIL. Why you are so keen on closing down nationalised banks," she pointed out.
Training guns on the CPM and the Congress, the feisty leader said that the two parties have entered into a deal with the BJP.
"CPM goons had unleashed terror in Kotulpur, Chomkaitala belts (in the 90s and early 2000), when I was an Opposition leader. They had even attacked me when I visited the affected areas to be on side of victims families. Those same CPM harmads (goons) have joined the BJP."
Talking about the injury she sustained on her foot during electioneering in Nandigram on 10 March, the TMC boss claimed she was victim of a conspiracy hatched by rivals.
"They had hit my head, my back, my hands and almost every part of my body in the past, you all (people) know that. This time, they (rivals) decided to target my leg to stop me from stepping out of home. But they don't know Mamata Banerjee
well," she asserted.
The chief minister, who addressed her second meeting at Indus, called upon party workers to stay alert when the electronic voting machines (EVMs) are put to test or faulty equipment is replaced.
"Also, please don't accept any food and cigarettes from a stranger during the voting exercise. Don't go anywhere leaving the EVMs unguarded, no matter who asks you to," she cautioned.
The chief minister also urged the electorate to steer clear of people who offer gifts in exchange of votes.
"I won't ask you to reject the offer because anything that they are giving you has been bought with misappropriated public money. But do not vote for them," she insisted.
In a dig at BJP MP from Asansol Babul Supriyo, who has been fielded by the party from Tollygunj Assembly seat, Mamata, during the third meeting at Barjora, said, "Did he have to flee Asansol and move to Tollygunj, after having not done enough for his Lok Sabha constituency?"
Apparently referring to TMC turncoats and parliamentarians who have been fielded as BJP candidates, she noted, "Some people want to achieve everything in life - they want to become MPs, MLAs, councillors as well as panchayat heads. They practise gaddari (betrayal) and rush to Delhi every now and then."
The chief minister further gave assurance that OBC communities which did not figure in Mandal Commission's list will be
registered by the state government, and a panel has been formed to look into the issue.
She said 250 more madrasas will be set up in the state by her government to impart modern education to Muslim community children, and scholarships worth over Rs 2 crore are already in place for them.
Mamata also said that a dedicated freight corridor will be set up connecting several districts of south Bengal.
It will foster economic activities and generate employment in several areas including Bankura, she added.