- PM Modi flagged off his Bengal Assembly poll campaign officially today
- He attacked the state government for allegedly letting down the people
- PM said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee broke the trust of Bengal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off his West Bengal Assembly poll campaign officially on Sunday by lashing out against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and promising a "Sonar Bangla" (Golden Bengal) if the BJP is voted to power. He attacked the state government for allegedly letting down the people who had placed much expectation in it.
"Bengal trusted Didi for Pariborton. She broke the trust," he said at a massive Kolkata rally...The dream of 'Sonar Bangla' will be fulfilled. Today, I have come here today to assure you of Bengal's development, to increase investment here, to protect Bengal's culture and to bring change," Prime Minister Modi said at the city's Brigade Parade Ground.
"I have come here to make you believe in 'Asol Poribortan', believe in Bengal's development, in changing Bengal's situation, in increasing investment and industries in Bengal, and in the reconstruction of Bengal," he said.
The next 25 years, the PM noted, are very important for development in the state. In 2047, when India will celebrate 100 years of independence, West Bengal will lead the country once again, he promised.
The democratic system had allegedly been destroyed in the state and the BJP, he said, would strengthen it. He also promised to re-establish public faith in government systems, in the police, and the administration.
He kept attacking Ms Banerjee over persistent allegations of nepotism and family rule in the state.
"The people of Bengal had chosen you as 'Didi', but then why did you remain the aunt of a nephew? The people of Bengal are asking only this one question from you," he asked, hinting at the alleged stranglehold of Abhishek Banerjee, the Chief Minister's nephew, over matters in the state.
PM Modi then used Trinamool's favourite motto to point out the increasing instances of violence. "You are well aware of the condition of 'Maa, Manush, Maati'. Mothers are being attacked on streets and in their houses. Recently, the cruelty unleashed on an 80-year-old mother has shown their cruel face to the entire country," he said.
He later turned to the ruling party's latest favourite, "Khela hobe", which means "let's play". The PM sought to use the slogan to indicate that the Trinamool's "game was over" now and asked people to vote for the BJP.
"Tolabaazi, syndicate, commission cut! You have done so many scams that a 'Corruption Olympics' game can be organised. You have played with the hard-earned money of the people and their lives," he said.
The Prime Minister also took a dig at her changing her constituency this time from Bhowanipur to Nandigram. "Your (Mamata Banerjee's) scooty took a turn towards Nandigram instead of going to Bhawanipore. Didi, I wish everyone well and don't want anyone hurt. But what can I do if the scooty is destined to fall in Nandigram?" he said. The PM was referring to Ms Banerjee's scooter ride a few days ago in protest against rising fuel prices.
He listed out the reasons why the BJP was rising in the state, alleging that her administration had created "keechad", or a cesspool, that had nourished his own party. "You've pushed Bengal towards separation instead of development, and, thus, the lotus is blooming. You've divided people on religious lines, and thus the lotus is blooming," he said referring to his party's symbol.
Earlier, PM Modi arrived around 2pm in Kolkata, his first visit to the state after the Assembly poll dates were announced last week. This is he first of at least 20 rallies planned for him in the state till the polls are over. He has already visited West Bengal at least three times till now over the past few weeks.
Elections to West Bengal's 294-seat Assembly are scheduled to be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29 and the results will be declared on May 2.