Make Modi ji say he became PM because of Bengal: Amit Shah at Kolkata rally
In April this year, Amit Shah had set a target of winning 35 of Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha seats. On Wednesday, he did not mention the figure
West Bengal should ensure the Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory in so many Lok Sabha seats in 2024 so that Narendra Modi can say he became Prime Minister again because of the state, Union home minister Amit Shah said at a rally in Kolkata on Wednesday.
In April this year, Shah had set a target of winning 35 of Bengal’s 42 Lok Sabha seats. On Wednesday, he did not mention the figure.
“In 2019, you gave us 18 seats. This time, give us so many seats so that Modi ji can say I became PM because of Bengal,” Shah told the crowd at Esplanade where the BJP was allowed to hold the rally by the Calcutta high court after police denied permission citing technical issues.
The BJP is expected to focus on Bengal ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls since the party set a record in 2019 that nobody had foreseen before the election. Till 2019, the BJP had only two seats in Bengal.
In his 20-minute speech, Shah said the Centre granted more funds for Bengal in nine years than the UPA government. He spoke on political violence, corruption and illegal migration in Bengal and even promised to enforce the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) but did not announce any deadline for framing rules for the law, which Parliament passed in 2020.
Without naming the INDIA coalition of the opposition parties, Shah said: “The Congress is lying at the feet of the TMC and the Communists are a spent force.”
Referring to the 2021 assembly polls, Shah said: “Mamata Didi (chief minister Mamata Banerjee), you rigged the polls, but we still won 77 seats. This rally assures me that in 2026 we will form government with two-third majority.”
“What happened to your voices? Don’t you want to make Modi Ji PM in 2024? Don’t you want to establish a BJP government in Bengal in 2026? Raise your voices and repeat after me Bharat Mata ki jai,” Shah told the crowd that comprised people ferried from the districts.
Shah accused chief minister Banerjee of nurturing corruption instead of ushering in a change after overthrowing the Left Front government
“Didi came to power by overthrowing the Communists but there has been no change in the state of affairs. Illegal migration across the border and crime have not stopped,” Shah said without naming any neighbouring country.
“PM Modi gives crores of rupees to the state, but it does not reach the poor. Electoral violence is the highest in Bengal. Our party has so far lost 212 workers. BJP workers across India are rearing to take revenge. If you want a BJP govt in 2026, make Modi Ji the PM of Bengal in 2024,” he said.
“There was a time when Mamata Banerjee used to create ruckus in the Lok Sabha over the infiltration issue but now she is giving the infiltrators voter card and Aadhar card. I come from Gujarat but nobody in my state has seen so much cash being seized from a leader’s home. A state that led the nation in art, literature and education has slipped from its position. Look at the progress in the rest of India,” he added.
“Mamata Banerjee, I dare you to suspend Jyotipriya Mallick, Anubrata Mondal and Partha Chatterjee from TMC. She can’t do it. She is praying to Durga every day so that they don’t mention bhatija’s (nephew’s) name,” Shah said referring to the ministers and leaders arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in various cases.
The Union home minister did not name Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, who has been questioned in the coal scam and bribe-for-job cases.
“TMC MPs have lowered the image of Parliament. They take bribes to raise questions,” Shah said but did not name TMC MP Mahua Moitra who is facing a CBI probe.
“In Assam, not even a bird can cross the (international) border whereas in Bengal people are invited and offered voter and Aadhar cards. That’s why Mamata Didi is opposing CAA. We will enforce CAA. Nobody can stop it. Hindus who have come here will live and enjoy every right,” said Shah.
CAA offers citizenship to non-Muslims who entered India from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh before 2015. The TMC insists that CAA is unconstitutional as it links citizenship to faith in a secular country.
Union deputy home minister Ajay Kumar Mishra said in Bengal on Sunday that laws for CAA will be framed by March 30, 2024. Shah, however, did not mention any deadline on Wednesday.
As Shah spoke, TMC legislators led by chief minister Mamata Banerjee staged a demonstration against suspension of central funds for social welfare schemes. Dressed in black, they sat near the statue of Dr B R Ambedkar on the campus of the Assembly House and shouted slogans for three hours.
After Shah’s rally was over, BJP legislators also rushed to the Assembly House and started a counter demonstration within a few yards, accusing the TMC of harbouring corrupt leaders and ministers.
“The BJP’s meeting was a flop show,” Banerjee said, referring to Shah’s rally, when the TMC demonstration ended at 5pm.