Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while addressing the West Bengal Jan-Samvad Rally through video conferencing, said on Tuesday that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee would pay a heavy price for opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the people of the state would make her a political refugee.
“Mamata will pay dearly for opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act. People will make her political refugee in the state,” Shah said.
Shah added that the CAA was an important step to put a stop to appeasement politics. “People of Bengal should know this. It was a step to end the wrongs done for decades to refugees.”
Shah said he remembers how Mamata was furious when the CAA was implemented and had opposed the decision in the Parliament and on the streets.
"I have never seen such an angry person before. Mamata ji don’t you think people from the Matua and Namashudra community should get citizenship? If yes, then why you are so angry?” Shah asked.
Mounting an attack over the issue of trains for migrant workers, the home minister said: “Bengal has asked for the fewest trains, only 236 trains which have transported three lakh migrants. You (Mamata Banerjee) have called Shramik Special trains Corona Express. That will pave the way for your exit.”
Shah added that Banerjee was stalling Ayushman Bharat and other central schemes because she is wary of Narendra Modi's increasing popularity in the state.
"I ask her why is she not allowing health benefits to reach the people of Bengal? There is a limit to such politics which comes at the cost of well being of people. All state leaders, including Kejriwal, have accepted the scheme, but Mamta has not," Shah said.
"I assure people of Bengal that we will implement the scheme after we win the state elections," the home minister said.
He remarked that he still remembers how opposition parties and leaders, including Rahul Gandhi criticised the Jan Dhan bank accounts. "It is through these accounts that 51 crore people have received direct financial benefits in the time of coronavirus pandemic," Shah added.
Asking people of Bengal how political violence could become "the state's identity", he said that the chief minister should stop "resorting to violence."
"You don’t allow us to hold rallies in Bengal. You don’t allow our helicopters to land in Bengal. Can you stop us from doing virtual rallies?" Shah asked.
Accusing the state government of being "steeped in corruption", Shah said that he has lost count of the number of corrupt activities the TMC government has been accused of.
Shah said that the BJP would realize Bengal's dream of becoming a ‘Sonar Bangla’ (Golden Bengal). “BJP deserves one chance in Bengal. We will put an end to political violence, corruption, appeasement politics, unemployment and dynastic rule.”
Reasserting his claims on BJP's prospects, the home minister said that the party would form government in Bengal with full majority.
"I have heard that people in West Bengal are saying that the Communist were better than the TMC," Shah added.
Earlier, the BJP’s state unit had prepared a ‘nine-point agenda’ highlighting the nine major failures of the Mamata Banerjee government in the state which has been in power for nine years.
The BJP has launched a mega drive of virtual rallies from various parts of the country. Top Union Ministers will reach out to people through social media and digital platforms to highlight the achievements of the Narendra Modi government that completed its first year of second term on May 30.
Hitting back on Amit Shah’s statement, TMC Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee stated that his virtual rallies are ‘all rhetoric and no substance’.
“As usual the speech of @AmitShah Ji was all rhetoric and no substance. Nonetheless, since he has talked about his dream of seeing ‘EXIT’ of TMC, I would like to ask him one more time - “When are the Chinese exiting our Territory,” Banerjee tweeted on Tuesday.
Soon after Abhishek’s reaction, state Minister-in-charge, Higher Education, School Education and Parliamentary Affairs leader Partha Chatterjee, too criticised Shah and said, “He is only hungry for votes and nothing else.”
“@AmitShah's priorities are crystal clear even when the state is battling with a pandemic and a natural disaster. Bengal, remember the face of this man who is just hungry for your votes and nothing else,” he tweeted.
Later, TMC also issued a statement which reads, ‘Someone who's himself put the inclusivity of India in danger, talks about 'restoring' the culture of Bengal. Doesn't he remember, it was Mamata who restored statue of Vidya Sagar, vandalised by his men in front of his own eyes.”
Not only TMC members but Congress leader Soumen Mitra too slammed Shah and said, “We all know who is responsible for the plight of the lakhs of migrant workers in India today. One cannot win people’s hearts through virtual rallies, one has to stand with the people in this time of crisis.”