Claiming Bengal was in the DNA of the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday vowed “ashol poriborton” (real change) in the state if the party was voted to power.
Addressing a massive election rally at Kolkata’s iconic Brigade Ground, Modi said the Congress, from which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee broke away to form the Trinamool Congress (TMC), was founded by a foreigner. The communists also took inspiration from Marx, Lenin and Mao. On the other hand, the BJP was founded by drawing inspiration from “the great son of Bengal Syama Prasad Mukherjee,” he said.
Actor Mithun joins saffron party
A highlight of the rally was actor Mithun Chakraborty joining the BJP. Mithun, who was sent to the Rajya Sabha by the TMC in 2014 but resigned two years later citing health reasons, said he was like a “venomous cobra”.
The Prime Minister, addressing his first rally in West Bengal after the announcement of the Assembly elections, was countering TMC propaganda that the BJP was a “party of outsiders”.
Hitting out at the TMC supremo, the PM said “her remote control is somewhere else”, adding she was not doing justice to the ideals of Bengali icons such as Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Swami Vivekananda, Tagore and Netaji.
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“Bengali thinking is at the core of BJP’s ideology. The party is indebted to Bengal. That debt can never be repaid, but we can try to set it on the course of development,” said Modi.
Taking Mamata to task for coining the expression “khela hobe” (we will play the game) to describe electoral contests, Modi said the TMC leaders were indeed “experienced players”.
“They know how to play games and have played so much that not much is left. There have been so many scams in Bengal. Even relief sent for people hit by Cyclone Amphan was misappropriated,” said Modi.
“TMC ka khela khatam, vikas shuru (TMC’s game is up, it’s time for development)… What game have you not played with people of Bengal? Extortion, corruption… you even played with the lives of people,” said Modi.
The BJP will bring about “real change” if elected to power, said Modi, adding by real change he meant jobs and educations for youths, attracting investments for the state, creating good infrastructure, etc.