Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday blamed West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress party for a flyover that collapsed in Kolkata.
“The flyover collapsed and people died. People of Trinamool Congress were involved in the construction of the flyover,” Gandhi said in his first political campaign in Burdwan district’s Kulti.
At least 27 people have been killed after the flyover partially collapsed in the city and the incident has sparked a war of words between political parties, with the ruling party forced on the back foot just three days ahead of the assembly elections.
“Mamata Banerjee wants to have a one-person rule in Bengal like Narendra Modi,” he told hundreds of Left supporters, who thronged the rally ground, and shouted slogans like “Rahul Gandhi Lal Salam” (Red Salute to Rahul Gandhi).
Gandhi said that after coming to power, the Congress-Left combine will take strict action against those involved in corruption. The two traditional rivals have buried the hatchet and entered into a pre-poll alliance for the first time to take on the Trinamool.
He also attacked Banerjee on the issue of corruption pointing to the sting operation, which allegedly caught Trinamool leaders taking bundles of bribe money.
The sting operation, which comes two years after the Sarada chitfund scam, has dealt a veritable blow to the Trinamool. In the tape, MPs Saugata Ray, Suvendu Adhikary, Sultan Ahmed and Prasun Banerjee were seen taking money from a journalist pretending to be a businessperson.
“Leaders are seen accepting cash. The Saradha scam was the biggest in the country, yet Mamata Banerjee is silent,” the Congress leader said referring to the narada.com’s sting and the chitfund scam.
He also hit out at Modi on issues like his ‘virtual dictatorship’ and what he called efforts to spread the RSS view in the country.
“Narendra Modi removed Congress government in Uttarakhand over an alleged sting operation, but looked the other way in Bengal after Narada sting operation”, he said.
That the Left took a big part in making the rally successful was quite evident at the spot as hundreds of red flags fluttered beside the Congress party flags. Left candidates from the area led by former minister and Lok Sabha MP Bangsagopal Chowdhury were present on the dais.
“Go together. Go hand in hand, and win the elections against Trinamool Congress,” Gandhi said urging his party leaders to carry on a joint campaign with the Left.
Congress leaders sent a formal invitation to state CPI-M secretary Suryakanta Mishra for this meeting, but he stayed away.