Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah went with all guns blazing at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at an election rally in Alipurduar on Friday.
Slamming Banerjee’s rule, Shah told a massive gathering of BJP supporters that the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is “for the existence of Bengal”.
Accusing Banerjee of smothering democracy in the state, Shah listed out a series of issues that his party has been raising to target the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government.
“This election is very important for this nation but for WB it’s important for its identity. It will decide if there’ll be democracy here,” he said.
Recalling the violence during the Panchayat elections in the state, Shah said that “Mamata did not allow 37 per cent electorate to vote”.
“Around 80 BJP karyakartas were killed. I have come to tell you this, Didi, bring as many goons as you can, TMC is bound to lose this election,” Shah said amid slogans in praise of the party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Shah also accused Banerjee of spreading false news about BJP government forcing refugees to leave India.
“Mamata didi is spreading lies stating that refugees will be forced to leave India. Let me assure refugees belonging to Sikh, Buddhist and Hindu religions that they will not be removed and are safe here,” Shah told the gathering in this north Bengal district which abuts Assam to its east and Bangladesh to its south.
Shah has been vocal about the citizenship of refugees. In January this year, at an election rally in West Bengal’s Malda, Shah had said that all Bengali refugees will be given citizenship under the Citizenship Bill.
At the rally today, Shah also said that TMC government allocated Rs 4,000 crore to madarsas and imposed Urdu language in schools.
“The budget for higher education in the state is less than that,” he said, adding that while the Bengal government provides monthly allowance only to Imams.
“Mamata didi, your time is up. No one will stop people of Bengal from performing pooja during Durga Pooja,” he said referring to Banerjee’s 2017 order on idol immersion which was struck down by the Calcutta High Court.
“The manner in which Mamata didi governed this state, they only worked towards destroying the culture of Bengal,” Shah said.
West Bengal is one of the three states were polling will be held in all seven phases from 11 April to 19 May. At 42, the state has the third highest number of Lok Sabha seats. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP managed to win two seats.