Referring to a recent mishap where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lost her balance while riding a scooty during a protest against diesel and petrol price hike in Kolkata, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that while he doesn’t want anyone hurt but what can he do if Didi’s scooty is destined to fall in Nandigram (East Midnapore).
While addressing a mega public meeting at iconic Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata, he said, “The sea of people here clearly hinting that ‘asol poriborton’ (real change) is sure in Bengal.”
Taking a jibe at Banerjee, he said, “A few days ago, we all prayed for her safety when she rode a scooty. Thankfully she didn’t fall. Otherwise, she would have made enemies in the state where the scooty was manufactured. If it was manufactured in Tamil Nadu, then she would have declared Tamil Nadu as her enemy.”
He further said, “Then, what we saw was interesting…instead of Bhawanipore, her (Mamata) scooty took a turn towards Nandigram. Didi, I always pray for my people and I don’t want anyone hurt. But what can I do if her scooty is destined to fall in Nandigram?”
Claiming that he has not seen such a huge public gathering before, Modi said, “Bengal demands ‘asol poribortan’ (real change) and modernisation. I want to question how many factories have come up in the last 10 years in Bengal. It lacks behind many states because of politics in this state. Bengal has been criminalised, corruption institutionalised, and administration and police politicised. This year’s budget has allocated a lot for people working in tea gardens of West Bengal. Before independence, Bengal was India’s most developed state. It offered the best education. Why did it lose that position? How did this happen?”
Evoking BJP’s election slogan, ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’ with the ‘asol poribortan’ pitch, PM Modi said, “For us real change means employment, development, industries, better education, best civic amenities, investment, empowering the poor and refugees. We are committed to do this after forming the government this time here in Bengal. Real Poriborton is ’Sabka Saath, Sakba Vikash’. In ‘Real Poribortan’ ‘unnayan sabka hoga…tushtikaran kisi ek ka nahi’ (there will be development and growth for all and not only for one community),” he said while adding such developmental work should have been done much before but now we should not delay it further.
He further added that the next 25 years will be crucial for Bengal’s development and vowed to bring back the state to its former glory. “In 2047, when India will celebrate 100 years of independence, Bengal will lead the country once again. But its foundation should be ready in the next five years. Bengal has lost and many things were snatched away from the state. You know better than me what Bengal has lost. Mark my words, I will bring back whatever snatched and taken away from Bengal. There is no reason to believe that Kolkata cannot become a ‘city of future’ one day,” he said.
He further said that he has made a road map for farmers, businessmen and development for “our sisters and daughters” and promised to work 24×7 to fulfil the dreams of the people of the state. “This iconic Brigade Parade Ground has been witness to many great leaders. Unfortunately, it also witnessed those who have disrupted West Bengal’s development. But it is good to see that people in Bengal never stopped dreaming for ‘good change’. The democratic system has been destroyed here. We will bring the change to re-establish public belief in government systems, the police, and in the administration,” he added.
Accusing the Chief Minister of resorting to dynasty politics, he attacked the TMC supremo over her nephew MP Abhishek Banerjee. “People here in Bengal voted for her and trusted ‘Didi’ with a hope that Bengal will flourish. But I would like to question her, why she remains the aunt of a nephew (Abhishek Banerjee) and ignores others who made her Didi? It is because of the mud you (Mamata) have spread all across the state, the lotus started blooming here for ‘asol poribortan’,” he said.
Claiming to know Mamata Banerjee for many years, Modi said she speaks words of “someone else” these days. “I know Didi for ages. She is not the same person whom I used to know. She used to raise her voice against the Left. Nowadays, she speaks someone else’s language. Her remote control is somewhere else,” PM Modi said.
In a scathing remark to Mamata’s ‘khela hobe’ (game on) remark, Modi accused the ruling government of large number corruption, enough to have an Olympics game on the scams. “I know ‘khela hobe’ because these people are experienced and they know how to play. They have done innumerable corruption and looted public money. They have even looted the relief money sent for cyclone Amphan. From tolabaazi, to syndicate to ‘commission cut’, they have done so many scams that a ‘Corruption Olympics’ game can be organized. But amid their ‘Khela Hobe’ slogan, I would like to tell them that ‘TMC ka khela khatam, vikas shuru’. I would like to request you all – vote for BJP fearlessly,” he added.
In a bid to woo voters and a sharp rebuke to the TMC, he said, “Banglar joy mane Bharater joy (Bengal’s victory means India’s victory and therefore this time the slogan should be ‘jor se chhap, TMC saaf’ (vote in large scale to finish TMC).
Countering TMC’s latest political slogans – ‘Bangla Nijer Meye Ke Chaye’ (Bengal wants its own daughter Mamata), the Prime Minister said, “In West Bengal, out of nearly 1.75 crore houses, only nine lakhs houses are having water pipelines. There is uncertainty on how many more years it will take to deliver water to the poor. It is unfortunate that ‘Bengal Ki Beti’ (daughters in Bengal) are suffering. This shows the injustice done to them by the TMC government. I want to question you all, will you forgive this government?”
Accusing the government further allegedly blocking Central schemes, he said, “The central government transfers money directly into bank accounts of farmers and poor people across the country. However, it is not reaching here in Bengal without the consent of all the ‘tolabaaz’ (extortionists) of TMC. This is the reason TMC leaders are becoming richer and common people are becoming poorer.”
Hitting out at Left Front-Congress alliance, he said, “We have seen how Left leaders used to raise slogans against Congress party. They used to raise slogans – ‘Congress partir kalo haat ghuriye aao..bhenge dao (break the black hands of Congress party). Now I would like to question them – what happened to their black hand? How did their black hand become fair now?”