Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a jibe at the firebrand Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee calling her “sticker Didi” who labels central welfare schemes as those of her own government.
Modi had in his earlier poll meetings in the state called Banerjee, who is among his fiercest critics, “speed breaker Didi” for allegedly blocking implementation of central schemes in the state. He often refers to Banerjee as Didi.
“Speedbreaker Didi is also sticker Didi. She just puts a sticker on central schemes like free electricity or ration for the people to claim that these benefits are from the state government,” he said at a rally at Ranaghat in the border district of Nadia.
He claimed that Banerjee has betrayed the people of Bengal, who gave her “so much trust and respect” and the reason why the electorate had voted the Left out of power and supported has not been fulfilled by her yet.
Banerjee had swept to power in 2011 after defeating the Left Front who had been in power for 34 long years in the state.
He claimed that the TMC has brought more miseries to the people of the state through goondaism, syndicates and extortion.
In West Bengal, ‘syndicate’ means the business run by persons allegedly enjoying political patronage, who force promoters and contractors to buy construction materials, often of inferior quality at high prices.
“The situation in Bengal at present is such that there is mamata (affection) for the goondas and nirmamta (disaffection) for the people,” he said punning on the word.
Modi had at a rally in Asansol in the state on Tuesday alleged that there is “rampant corruption and crimes” in the state and said that “under speed breaker Didi only corruption and crime are two non-stop things in Bengal”.
The prime minister claimed that after three phases of elections, it is clear from reports that Banerjee’s “Sun is about to set in West Bengal” and thanked the Election Commission for making all-out efforts to hold free and fair elections. “That is why Didi is angry with the poll body.”
Accusing Banerjee and her party of trying to browbeat the saffron party in West Bengal, Modi said that BJP is not a party to be afraid of intimidation and violence.
“If that was so, it would not have come to power from a party with only two MPs and go on to become the world’s largest political party … If Didi has the power of goondas then we (BJP) have the strength of democracy,” Modi said.
He alleged that Banerjee who used to shed tears in Parliament seeking illegal immigrants be thrown out of the country, is now their “biggest protector”.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be brought in Parliament and all illegal immigrants will be thrown out of the country, he asserted.
The Bill had been passed by Lok Sabha on January 8 but lapsed as it was not introduced in the Rajya Sabha.
The issue of infiltration, which is high on the BJP’s poll agenda, had been raked up by the prime minister in his Asansol rally too where he had said Banerjee has turned infiltrators into TMC cadres and is now using Bangladeshi actors to campaign for her.
The saffron party has also asserted introducing National Register of Citizens in Bengal, which is being opposed vehemently by Banerjee.
Modi accused Banerjee of stopping the Centre’s ‘Ayushman Bharat’ health insurance scheme in Bengal and blamed her for depriving millions of poor people in the states of benefits of up to Rs five lakh.
“It is an example of sick mentality,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that after May 23, when the results of the general elections are slated to be announced, some “hard decisions” will be taken and those involved in chit fund scams will be brought to book.
“Didi had thought a weak government in Delhi will ensure that no action is taken in respect of the scams. We will not allow any neta or officer to go scotfree,” he said.
Modi had at Asansol said the TMC is competing with Congress to break its record of corruption and jeered that the PM’s post is not up for auction that it can be bought with the money looted from “Narada, Saradha” scams in the state.