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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

Rajnath lambasts Congress, CPM but mum on Trinamool

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, October 01, 2013
First Published: 10:46 IST(1/10/2013) | Last Updated: 10:51 IST(1/10/2013)

A day after being appointed head of his party’s campaign committee, BJP national president Rajnath Singh hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Congress and the CPI(M) but was surprisingly silent on chief minister Mamata Banerjee, raising speculation that the BJP chief may be going soft on the Trinamool supremo in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

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During his 30-minute address to party workers in the city on Monday, Singh accused the Congress of corruption and a weak foreign policy and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi of insulting the nation by his slur on the Prime Minister’s chair in public, but never for once uttered chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s name.

Earlier on Monday afternoon, Singh created a flutter when he said any party opposed to the Congress would be welcomed into the NDA fold.

“Any party which is fighting against the Congress is welcome to our alliance but the proposal would not come from our side,” Singh said at a business meet on being asked whether the BJP is keeping its doors open for erstwhile NDA allies.

On his earlier visit to the state, Singh had backed Mamata’s demand for a special package for Bengal. Even the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had praised Mamata for her good work and said the potholes dug by the CPI(M) during their 35 years of rule would take a long time to be filled up.

Singh and Modi’s refusal to judge Mamata’s performance in the last two years and the BJP’s withdrawal in the recent Howrah Lok Sabha bypoll despite having a strong vote share are a clear indication that the party is trying to woo the Trinamool.

On Saturday evening, while addressing the party’s Sankalp Sabha, Singh made a token reference to the Trinamool, saying it had failed to meet the people’s expectations. But he was harsher on the CPI(M) and said despite being in power for 35 years in Bengal, it did precious little to address poverty in the state or work for its development.

“If any party has played with the sentiments of the poor, it is the CPI(M). Though it claims to represent the poor, it has done very little for this section despite being in power for 35 years,” Singh said.

“Rahul Gandhi not only insulted the Prime Minister but the whole nation when he said the ordinance is nonsense. Why did he have to says so publicly? He could have simply called up the Prime Minister and said he does not like the ordinance and it should be withdrawn. I am sure the Prime Minister would have acted accordingly,” Singh added.

“Even Maldives is frowning at India nowadays. But the Prime Minister never says anything. We know its better not to speak unnecessarily but one needs to speak up when required,” the BJP president said.

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