Joypur, West Bengal:
Accusing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of “taking back Bengal to the 19th century, with no development work undertaken in the past 10 years”, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the TMC dispensation, just like its predecessor, the Left Front, has wronged the people of the state.
Mr Singh, during his public meeting in Purulia district, took a dig at the TMC’s ”khela hobe” (game will be played) slogan, and said Bengal, now on, will witness only work and development.
Alleging that the TMC supremo delivers speeches encouraging acts of violence and aggression, the union minister wondered if the chief minister “seeks to divide the country” by repeatedly terming people who have come from other states as outsiders.
He also sought to know if people from Bengal are treated as outsiders elsewhere.
Stressing that the Bharatiya Jan Sangh, which later became the BJP, was established by Syama Prasad Mookerjee — a son of Bengal — Mr Singh said, “Will any brother from this state be considered an outsider in Uttar Pradesh? All people born on the soil of India are brothers to each other.”
Claiming that the TMC dispensation has done nothing for the people of Bengal, Mr Singh said, “How is it possible that those belonging to one party (BJP) are outsiders, while you, having ruined Bengal, are an insider? The CM, instead of undertaking development work, makes thoughtless remarks.
“Neither ”Maa nor mati or manush” (mother, motherland, and people) feel safe in the state.”
”Maa, Mati, manush” is another slogan that was coined by the TMC during 2009 general election.
Mr Singh further accused Ms Banerjee of not fulfilling her promise of putting an end to water crisis in the state.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on his part, has promised piped water availablility in every household of the country by the end of 2024,” the Defence Minister stated.
Maintaining that the BJP government at the Centre has never discriminated against the people of the state, as often alleged by the TMC, the senior party leader said, “The Congress-led UPA government at the Centre had given Rs 1.32 lakh crore to Bengal under the 13th Finance Commission, while the Modi government allotted Rs 4.48 lakh crore to the state under the 14th Finance Commission.”
Insisting that more than 150 BJP camp workers have been killed in West Bengal, the senir BJP leader said that it is the responsibility of the state’s chief minister to ensure the safety and security of its people, no matter which party they bore allegiance to.
“Bomb-making factories are openly being run in Bengal. If the same had happened in Uttar Pradesh (of which he was once the chief minister), the matter would have been dealt with sternly.
“The BJP, if allowed to form government in Bengal, will make security arrangements not just for party camp workers, but also those belonging to the Congress, Left and the TMC,” he said, exuding confidence that his party will bag more than 200 seats in the state.
Emphasising that the BJP is not a party that creates enmity between people, he said, the TMC supremo has been trying to divide the people of Bengal on religious lines.
“The BJP will not practice discrimination on the basis of religion. It would rather punish anyone creating trouble or indulging in such crimes. Now no one will be able to stop Durga Puja celebrations or Saraswati Puja in Bengal,” he said.
Controversy had erupted in 2017 at a school in Tehatta, Nadia district, over celebration of Saraswati puja, with one section of students apparently trying to stop another group from observing the festival.
In that very year, the West Bengal government had tried imposing curbs on Durga idol immersion, as the occasion coincided with Muharram, but the high court later eased the restrictions.