Sensing a significant division in the vote share in the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday alerted people of a secret understanding between the Left Front, Congress and Trinamool Congress (TMC) to prevent the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from bringing actual ‘parivartan’ (change) in the state.
Addressing a public meeting in East Midnapore's Haldia, Modi claimed that the BJP's three adversaries are conspiring to keep the party away to befool the people of Bengal.
“Earlier the Congress and Left Front looted the people and now TMC is doing the same, with ‘atyachar’ (atrocities) as a new addition since 2011...In Kerala also the Congress and Left Front have an understanding to loot the state. In 2011, when Mamata didi came to power in Bengal, it was not actual ‘parivartan’ (change). It was the rebirth of a government similar to the former Left Front government. The real ‘parivartan’ will come in just a matter of time when BJP will form the government in the state,” he said.
“Bengal demands ‘badlav’ (change) and modernisation. I would like to question how many factories have come up in the last 10 years in Bengal. Bengal is lacking behind many states because politics 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 the state. Before independence, Bengal was India's most developed state. It offered the best education. Why did it lose that position? How did this happen?” he questioned.
Modi further claimed that ‘some forces’ abroad were conspiring to tarnish the image of Indian tea and yoga. “Mamata didi gets angry with ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ slogans. But she is tight-lipped over conspiracy hatched to defame our country...I would like to tell all those conspirators that we will give a befitting reply to them,” he added. He was referring to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's birth anniversary in Kolkata when the CM refused to speak after being greeted with the slogan.
Praising Bengalis for their love for football, he said, “Today, in the jargon of football, I would like to say that Mamata didi committed foul after foul and now people of Bengal have decided to show her the red card. There are leaders in TMC who became fed up with it and happily joined the BJP raising ‘Jai Sri Ram’ slogans and saying ‘Ram Ram’ to TMC.”
Modi accused Mamata Banerjee of not implementing schemes like PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi and Ayushman Bharat in the state and vowed to put them in place in the first cabinet meeting if the BJP forms the government.
“You will be surprised to know that nearly 23 lakh farmers of Bengal have applied online to take advantage of the PM-KISAN scheme....People’s expectations towards TMC have now turned into their anger due to bad governance. Only BJP can ensure good governance in Bengal. Our target is to ensure development and on the other side TMC leaders are busy minting money through extortion and cut money under bua-bhatija raj(referring to Mamata and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee),” he added.
On the Central fund allocated for Cyclone Amphan, he said, “Not the least, we all know who siphoned off money and foodgrains sent by the Centre for the affected people during Amphan. The Calcutta High Court directed the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India to do an audit of the distribution of relief materials and compensation in the aftermath of cyclone Amphan in the state. But, a scared Mamata didi challenged the decision in the Supreme Court. This proves that corruption was involved.”
During his visit, Modi also inaugurated an LPG import terminal built by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) in Haldia and a 348-km natural gas pipeline section at Dobhi-Durgapur, which is part of the Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga project. The LPG import terminal was built at a cost of around Rs 1,100 crore and has a capacity of one million metric tonne per annum.
Modi also spoke in Assam, on a second visit to the state in a fortnight. He said an international conspiracy has been hatched to "defame" Indian tea. He also pitched for setting up at least one medical college and a technical institution in each state that will impart education in the native language.
Assembly elections are due in West Bengal and Assam in April-May this year and the BJP has already launched a massive aggressive campaign highlighting farmers’ issues to oust the TMC government in the state.