Union home minister Amit Shah on Sunday urged voters in Bengal to give the BJP a chance in assembly elections next year, saying a vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership would be a vote for progress.
Addressing a roadshow in Bolpur in Birbhum district, Shah said the strength of the crowd present was proof of Bengal’s “anger” towards Trinamool Congress supremo and chief minister Mamata Banerjee. “I have seen many road shows in Bolpur. I have even organised many, but what I am witnessing today is nothing like what we have seen before. This gathering shows the anger the people of Bengal have against Mamata. Bengal’s people want parivartan (change),” he said.
Shah added that if voted to power in the state, the BJP would end illegal immigration from Bangladesh to Bengal. “I am here to promise you that when you vote for us, you will be voting for progress. Bengal has lost its way to progress. You have given Mamata time, now it is time to give PM Modi an opportunity,” he said.
The roadshow, a show of might ahead of 2021 assembly polls, began at 3:10 pm from Dakbunglow grounds and culminated at Bolpur Chowrasta More. Shah, standing on top of a decked-up lorry along with state BJP president Dilip Ghosh, was seen waving to the crowd, as saffron party supporters raised ‘Jai Shri Ram’, ‘Narendra Modi Zindabad’ and ‘Amit Shah Zindabad’ slogans.
“We will form the government in Bengal with more than 200 Assembly seats. Many people are joining BJP in Bengal to voice protest against Mamata Banerjee-led state government’s misrule," said Shah.
Replying to Trinamool’s “outsider" statement, he said that West Bengal will have a Bengali CM when the BJP comes to power. “I would like to tell Mamata ji that she will find a ‘bhumiputra’ (son of the soil) in front of her to confront her undemocratic ways of ruling. The next chief minister will be a ‘bhumiputra’. I would like to suggest to her that instead of how we look and where we came from, she should obey the democratic set up of India. And, ironically such a statement is coming from a person who heads the state known for its liberal approach,” he said.
On the contentious citizenship issue, Shah he said, “The act has been passed. We are committed to implementing it. The entire process got delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The rules of the CAA are yet to be framed. I would like to assure all that we will certainly implement it. First, let’s get over with this pandemic and the vaccination process.”
Speaking about the attack on BJP chief JP Nadda’s convoy earlier this month, Shah said, “It was not only an attack on him but it was an attack on democracy. I personally condemned the incident. The attack shows TMC’s ego. What was more worrying was that instead of adequate action against the attackers the ‘mukhiya’ (Mamata) tried to violate the democratic fabric of India and went against the Constitution.”
“We have sent a letter to her and she should obey the Constitution,” Shah added, referring to the Ministry of Home Affairs’ letter calling three IPS officers who oversaw Nadda’s security on central deputation.
Earlier on Sunday, Shah visited Viswa Bharati University and paid floral tribute to Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore at the Visva Bharati campus in Shantiniketan.
He also visited Shyambati in Birbhum with BJP Dilip Ghosh, national general secretary (in-charge of West Bengal) Kailash Vijayvargiya, and national vice-president Mukul Roy, and shared a meal with the family of a Baul singer at their residence.