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‘Only a Bengali will be CM if BJP wins Bengal’, says Amit Shah in Kolkata

Amit Shah accused Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee of raising a bogey of the BJP deploying outsiders in the state.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 15, 2019 00:19 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Lok Sabah elections 2019,General elections 2019,Election news
BJP president Amit Shah and the party’s Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh during a road show in Kolkata on Tuesday. (ANI)

BJP president Amit Shah said on Tuesday that only a Bengali will become the chief minister of West Bengal if the party comes to power in the state.

“Don’t try to scare us referring as ‘bahari bahari’ (outsider). Neither I nor Kailash Vijayvargiya is going to contest elections here. If BJP comes to power, a Bengali gentleman, or lady, is going to be the chief minister,” said Shah while addressing a meet of intellectuals at a hotel at Rajarhat area in Kolkata’s north eastern outskirts.

Kailash Vijayvargiya, who hails from Madhya Pradesh, is BJP’s national general secretary who is in charge of the party in Bengal.

“Whom are you trying to scare? Are the MPs who will get elected outsiders?” Shah asked.

Shah urged the audience not to get confused by Mamata Banerjee’s campaign and said, “No one will come from outside. A Bengali will be the chief minister and all our MPs will be those carrying the fragrance of the soil of Bengal.”

Assembly elections in West Bengal aren’t due until 2020.

Shah’s remarks came following Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief’s repeated allegations that BJP is trying to import north Indian culture and food habits into Bengal and that they are contesting Bengal elections on the strength of leaders and workers from other states.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) dismissed Shah’s statement of coming to power in the state.

“Their dreams are only a few days away from turning into nightmare. Narendra Modi will lose this election and his party will vanish from this state,” said Tapan Dasgupta, minister and TMC Hooghly district president.

Barely a few hours earlier, Banerjee had alleged from a public rally in south Kolkata that BJP workers from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Rajasthan and Jharkhand had crowded Amit Shah’s roadshow in north Kolkata.

Earlier Tuesday, clashes marked Shah’s road show in Kolkata with the BJP and the TMC accusing each other for violence at two places.

On Monday night, a major controversy erupted after policemen from Barasat police station raided a hotel and asked BJP leaders and workers who had come from Gujarat and were lodging at the hotel to leave the area.

The police retreated after the BJP leaders stood their ground and insisted that it was not illegal for them to stay there until 48 hours before polling.

First Published: May 14, 2019 23:10 IST