Firing a salvo against the ruling Trinamul Congress (TMC) for its alleged syndicate, extortion, commission system and cut money network, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked people to vote against the “misgovernance” of the Mamata Banerjee-led government.

Addressing a rally at a jam-packed Brigade Parade Ground in the city, his first since the announcement of Assembly elections in the state, he said that TMC’s “khela khatam” (The TMC’s game is over) ~ a take on the TMC’s Khela Hobeslogan ~ as the lotus is blooming in Bengal because TMC has spawned muck in the state.

“You’ve pushed Bengal towards division instead of development, and thus the lotus is blooming. You’ve divided people on religious lines, and thus the lotus is blooming,” he said and asked people to vote against misgovernance and to free themselves from fear. “Bengal wants development,” Mr Modi said.

Criticising Miss Banerjee for her alleged favouritism towards her nephew MP Abhishek Banerjee, Mr Modi said, Didi being an aunt of a particular nephew you only fulfilled your nephew’s greed but you forgot the future of the lakhs of nephews from Bengal.

“Like Congress you developed a culture to pamper the dynasty,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that Miss Banerjee, who was a strong opponent of the erstwhile Left Front’s government’s misrule, has drastically changed. “I have known Didi for ages. She is not the same person who raised her voice against the Left. That Mamata Banerjee is being controlled. Her remote control is in a different hand,” he said.

Mr Modi noted that the TMC had broken off from the Congress. On the other hand the BJP has the ethos of Bengal, he claimed.

“We are outsiders, they say. Are the founders of the Congress not outsiders? Are Marx, Lenin, Mao not outsiders? But our leader was Syama Prasad Mookerjee so Bengal is in BJP’s DNA,” Modi said.

Mr Modi also accused the TMC of alleged misappropriation of Amphan relief funds provided by the Centre. “These people are experienced and play a lot. They have done a lot of corruption and looted the people of Bengal. They have even looted the relief money sent for Amphan, You have been involved in so many scams that a Corruption Olympics can be organised,” he said. Mr Modi said that extortion rackets should be exterminated to develop the state and asked people whether they want friendship or tolabaazi (extortion).

Mr Modi said he comes from a poor background and that his friends are the common people and has promised that he will work for these friends of his. “The coronavirus disturbed everyone over the world, but it was these poor friends of mine who were very upset. When coronavirus came, I gave ration to every friend for free, gave free gas cylinders and deposited crores of rupees in bank accounts, ” he said.

He also said he wants to bring benefits of Ayushman Bharat to the state.

Mr Modi also took a jibe at Miss Banerjee over the video of her riding an electric scooter in protest against hike in fuel prices. “Thankfully you have not fallen (from the scooter),” he said. He also said that he was surprised to see that Didi’s scooter has taken a sudden turn towards Nandigram when it was supposed to stop at Bhawanipore.

“I don’t know whether she will fall from the scooty in Nandigram,” he said.

Mr Modi added that the TMC has failed to bring the promised ‘change’ to the lives of people. Referring to an incident at Nimta in North 24-Parganas, in which an 80-year-old mother was allegedly thrashed by TMC supporters, he said that mothers are being attacked on streets and in their houses. “You are well aware of the condition of ‘Maa, Manush, Maati. Condition of these three are worsening during TMC’s reign,” he said.

Mr Modi also questioned the relevance of the alliance of the Congress, ISF and Left. “Left Front used to say breaks the kalo haat (black hand) of the Congress. Suddenly this hand became gora (white). Now LF is joining hands with Congress,” he said.