Amit Shah takes on Mamata Banerjee on virtual turf, seeks change in West Bengal

Hindustan Times, Kolkata | BySnigdhendu Bhattacharya | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi
Jun 09, 2020 03:35 PM IST

Shah accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government of indulging in violence, corruption, extortion, infiltration, terror and politics of appeasement.

Union home minister Amit Shah on Tuesday called the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal a failure and sought a chance for Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to fix the problems faced by the state. Addressing a virtual rally, Shah called for a change in the state government, kicking off the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) campaign for 2021 Assembly election.

Home Minister Amit Shah addresses 'West Bengal Jan-Samvad Rally’ via video-conferencing, in New Delhi on Tuesday.(ANI Photo)
Home Minister Amit Shah addresses 'West Bengal Jan-Samvad Rally’ via video-conferencing, in New Delhi on Tuesday.(ANI Photo)

Shah accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government of indulging in violence, corruption, extortion, infiltration, terror, politics of appeasement and dynasty politics. He also stung Banerjee for opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and said that this move of her would turn her into a “political refugee”.

Also Read: Key Highlights of Amit Shah’s Virtual Rally

“Change is needed to take Bengal ahead. People who changed the communist rule expecting development are now saying that even the communists were better than TMC. You gave communists 34 years and 10 years to Didi. Now give a chance to Modiji and you will see. Bihar, from being a Beemaru state, is on the path of development since an NDA government took charge. Uttar Pradesh is moving ahead in just three years,” Shah said.

The home minister said that West Bengal was the only state which witnessed violence amid the Covid-19 lockdown. He also took swipes at the state government for being apathetic towards the migrant workers.

This was Shah’s third virtual rally in as many days. He had earlier addressed the people of Bihar and Odisha. The BJP’s West Bengal unit and central office in New Delhi coordinated for the rally which was aired live on social media.

“Only BJP can change Bengal. I appeal to crores of people to give Modiji a chance for corruption and violence free Bengal,” said Shah, adding, “In those five years, you will see an end to violence, corruption, scam, extortion, terror, infiltration, and dynasty politics. If you want these, give Modi-ji the rights to take the steps.”

Alleging that the state government was indulging in appeasement politics, Shah said that “priority was being given to one particular community”.

He also attacked the state government on the issue of bringing the migrant workers back. “Bengal has so far accepted only 236 trains carrying three lakh people, whereas Uttar Pradesh has taken 1,700 trains for migrant workers. Bengal not only took less trains but Mamata Banerjee even called the Shramik Special trains as ‘Corona Express’. This is an outright insult to the migrant workers. They will surely avenge it,” the home minister said.

Political analysts found Shah’s revival of the CAA issue intriguing. The CAA that offers citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from six neighbouring countries had turned into a subject of intense political tussle in West Bengal in the second half of 2019. The TMC, the Left and the Congress had targeted the BJP for dividing people and paving the path for harassment of millions. The BJP had then launched a high-voltage campaign supporting the CAA, arguing that millions of Hindu refugees from Bangladesh settled in West Bengal are to benefit from this new legislation.

“You are opposing CAA. You are opposing citizenship to the refugees from Bangladesh. When the ballot boxes open, you will find yourself in the position of a political refugee,” Shah said attacking Mamata Banerjee.

A few hours before Shah’s rally, TMC took a jibe at the Centre.

“Respected @AmitShah Ji, Bengal has not heard you speak during these times of crisis, but we hope today you would take a minute to answer this: Are the Chinese occupying our territory or not?” Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of chief minister Mamata Banerjee and TMC’s youth wing chief, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning.

After the speech, Banerjee tweeted, “As usual the speech of @AmitShah Ji was all rhetoric and no substance. Nonetheless since he has talked about his dream of seeing ‘EXIT’ of TMC, I would like to ask him one more time - “When are the Chinese EXITING our territory” #BengalRejectsAmitShah.”


TMC secretary-general and state education minister Partha Chatterjee wrote on Twitter, “.@AmitShah’s priorities are crystal clear even when the state is battling with a pandemic and a natural disaster. Bengal, remember the face of this man who is just hungry for your votes and nothing else.”

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