Days after West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's mega Opposition rally and the Kolkata Police versus CBI standoff, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed yet another mega rally in Jalpaiguri district on Friday. With only a few months left for the Lok Sabha elections, this is Modi's third rally in the state in a week. He had earlier addressed two rallies at Thakurnagar in North 24 Parganas district, and Durgapur in West Burdwan district.
Modi inaugurated the long-awaited circuit bench of the Calcutta High Court in the district and spoke about how it would help Jalpaiguri residents get speedy justice. He also said that people of north Bengal will no longer have to travel all the way to Kolkata. The bench will also ensure justice to people of Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar, he added.
"Residents of these four districts will now have to travel less than 100 kilometres instead of 600 kilometres," he said.
The prime minister also laid the foundation stone for four-laning of the Falakata-Salsalabari section of National Highway-31 D. The 41.7 km-long section of National Highway falls in Jalpaiguri district and will be constructed at a cost of about Rs 1938 crore, he added. The project will reduce distance from Salsalabari and Alipurduar to Siliguri by nearly 50 km and will boost tourism in the region. The highway will also have three rail-over-bridges, two flyovers, three vehicular underpasses, eight major bridges and 17 minor bridges.
Launching a scathing attack on the Banerjee-government, Modi said, "Didi is eyeing Delhi and has left the state at the hands of middlemen." Later, referring to the Saradha chit fund scam in which several top Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders are also allegedly involved and for which the CBI had wanted to question Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, Modi said, "It is for the first time that a chief minister sat on dharna to protect those who looted lakhs of people. This chowkidar will spare neither the perpetrators of chit fund scams nor those protecting them."
Calling the West Bengal government an "extortionist syndicate", the prime minister also said that those who got power in Bengal in the name of "Maa, Maati and Manush" have now adopted the culture of violence. "TMC is communist part 2. They have defamed the soil of Bengal and rendered its people helpless. The state known for art and culture is now being discussed across the country for violence and arson."
Trying to struck a chord with the tea belt of the eastern state, Modi said how North Bengal is known for three Ts - tea, timber and tourism. He also announced pension benefits for tea garden labourers and added, "I have a very special connection with North Bengal. This connection is of tea, You grow and I make tea," he said.
The prime minister later said that by 2022 all Indians will be living in houses made of concrete.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Feb 08, 2019 18:03:49 IST