PURULIA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared “vikas hobe, chakri hobe (there’ll be development and jobs)” and had a strong message for the Trinamool Congress: “Didir khela sesh hobe (Didi’s game will be up)”, in Purulia on Thursday in an attempt to turn the party’s poll catchphrase, “khela hobe”, on its head.
The PM also peppered his “development” narrative with what he termed Trinamool’s “appeasement politics”, recalling Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s stance during the Pulwama strike in 2019 and her terming of the 2008 Batla House encounter in Delhi as a “fake encounter”.
“People of Bengal have a strong memory,” Modi told the election meeting at Hutmura, Jangalmahal, adding, “Bengal remembers who accused the Army of plotting a coup, whose side you (Mamata) took during the Pulwama attack. People remember what stance she took when Delhi police officer Mohan Chand Sharma was killed during the Batla House encounter. A Delhi court has exposed the real face of terrorism. The court sentenced one of the accused to death for killing the officer. These people had sided with the terrorists and questioned the encounter.”
Modi said Banerjee’s stance was due to her “appeasement and vote-bank politics”, which was responsible for “infiltration”. “People will punish her this time. Didi-r khela sesh hobe on May 2 and development will begin in Bengal.”
The PM repeated his criticism of the Trinamool government’s “cut money” policy which, he claimed, went on even while distributing relief during the Amphan disaster. “They (Trinamool) wanted the victims to deposit commission in the party office first to get relief materials,” Modi said. “Under this process, you can get relief even if you didn’t face any loss. We believe in Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). They believe in Transfer My Commission (TMC). This is why Ayushman Bharat or the PM Kisan Nidhi schemes were not implemented, because TMC doesn’t apply in those projects,” the PM added, pointing to “tolabaji” by Trinamool leaders at the grassroots.
Modi also reminded the gathering that as many as 36 lakh people in Bengal received free cooking gas connections under the central Bharat Ujala Yojana. “We have also increased MSP for forest produce. We have made huge allocations in the Budget for the education and employment of Adivasis and Dalits. Hundreds of Eklavya schools are being opened,” the PM said. He also wondered aloud why Purulia, known for water scarcity, did not have a water project.
The PM complained that the Trinamool never considered Adivasis, backward classes and Dalits (a large percentage of voters in this region) as its own. “These sections have been the worst victims of the cut money culture and tolabaji by the ruling party,” he said, adding, “I know how your rights and benefits were being betrayed. If Didi had any concern for the backward communities, she wouldn’t have turned this region into a hotbed of Maoists. People in Bengal know how coal mafia and the sand mafia are getting indulgence here. The khela over recruitment of teachers will be done away with. Otyachar onek korechho Didi. Bhoi dekhanoi tomar ostro. Rukhe darabe ebar Banglar manush. Ma Durgar ashirbade korbe tomay porasto. (You have tortured people enough. Your only weapon is fear-mongering. People of Bengal will rise in opposition. They will defeat you with the blessings of Ma Durga). It appears from your enthusiasm that this time that syndicate wallahs, tolabajs will concede defeat. Mamata Banerjee knows it very well. That is why she says khela hobe.”
He also reminded the gathering how BJP activists in Purulia were attacked. “I will urge the state police to establish the rule of law. There was violence throughout the night in North 24 Parganas. Come May 2, we will establish the rule of law in Bengal,” the PM said.
The Prime Minister held that the Bengal CM was taking on the BJP after sensing the public mood. “Didi is saying many things against us. I believe that she is the daughter of India and wish her a speedy recovery,” he said.