Malda: Kick-starting the BJP’s campaign in West Bengal for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, party chief Amit Shah on Tuesday launched an all-out offensive against Chief Minister Mamata Banerje, vowing to uproot the TMC-led government in the state.
Addressing a rally in Malda, Shah said, “The election of 2019 will not only determine the future of India but is also very important for West Bengal. The election of 2019 will determine whether this govt of TMC which is killing democracy, will remain in Bengal or will be uprooted.”
Alleging that the Mamata Banerjee-led government killed people in the name of politics, Shah said that the upcoming elections will “free Bengal from the tyranny of the TMC.”
Targeting Banerjee for stonewalling the proposed ‘Rath Yatras’ of the BJP in the state, Shah said that the chief minister did not permit the rallies due to the “fear of failure”.
“By stopping the BJP’s ‘rath yatra’, Mamata didi cannot end stop the lotus blooming in the hearts of people of Bengal,” said Shah.
Furthering his attack on the TMC government, the Shah alleged that over 60 workers of the BJP and other political parties have been murdered in the state.
Asking people to vote Narendra Modi to power at the Centre, the BJP said that the central government gave 2.5 times the money given by the UPA government for the development of the state, further alleging that the money was consumed half by infiltrators and the rest half by TMC leaders.
“People of Bengal ousted Communists and you have the power to vote out the TMC too,” he said.
Shah also targeted the TMC government for its resistance to the National Register of Citizens (NRC), saying that it supported the infiltrators.
“I am assuring you, bring BJP and we will not let any infiltrators enter Bengal. But these people love infiltrators, that is why they go against us when we talk about NRC,” he added.
The BJP chief also took a dig at the opposition’s proposed grand alliance and the TMC-led mega rally in Kolkata which was attended by leaders of 22 anti-BJP parties.
“While Modi government is developing the country, Mahagatbandhan is focused on self-development. The only motive of Mahagathbandhan is to remove Modi ji,” he said.
“All the leaders in Mahagatbandhan wants a ‘Mazboor Sarkar’ and not a ‘Mazboot Sarkar’,” Shah added.
“‘Bharat mata ki jai’ was not uttered even once at Kolkata rally of opposition parties, they kept chanting ‘Modi’ ‘Modi’,” he said.
Shah’s rally came a day after a row between the BJP and the state government over a landing spot for the former’s helicopter. “The entire administration has been politicised. Permission for the landing of my helicopter was not granted,” said Shah.
The BJP claimed on Monday that when they were denied permission by the airport administration, the party sought to land Shah’s helicopter at a private hotel but that was also refused by hotel management, a claim that the Chief Minister sought to make light of. The government said the saffron party had been given the necessary permission.
The BJP has identified West Bengal as a priority state for the general elections and Shah has set a target of 22 of the state’s total 42 Lok Sabha seats.
The party is also looking to host a few rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, nothing has been confirmed.
Over the last few years, the BJP has emerged as the main opposition in the state with a significant show in rural polls and by-elections.
The party had planned ‘Rath Yatras’ from December touching all Lok Sabha constituencies in the state to boost its chances in the national elections. But it was denied permission by the state government and has been caught in legal tangles.
The Supreme Court had recently put the programme on hold saying the Bengal government’s law and order apprehensions over the ‘Rath yatra’ was not “totally unfounded” and had asked BJP to submit a fresh request and seek necessary approvals.