BJP President Amit Shah is in West Bengal. The three-day visit will end today. During the stay, Shah has attacked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over an array of issues. He also aimed at strengthening the organisation and expanding his party base in the state. West Bengal is the state where BJP is not traditionally strong. In recent times, the political confrontations between TMC and BJP have hit the headline. With an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, both the parties want to make sure they get the most out of 42 Parliamentary constituency seats.
Yesterday, Shah had said the Centre offered enough financial assistance to West Bengal but there was no development in the state, and asked the Mamata Banerjee government to answer where the money has gone. Hitting out at the Trinamool Congress over Narada and Sarada scams, Shah said he was worried about the development and progress of West Bengal, the PTI report said.
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“You all know about issues like Narada, Sarada scandals and law and order problems. But there remains another issue -where has the fund allocated to the state by the Centre gone?” he asked. “While the 13th Finance Commission had allocated Rs 1,3,585 crore to Bengal in five years, you will be happy to note the Narendra Modi government gave Rs 2,82,942 crore to Bengal. Where has this money gone?” he asked the crowd at a ‘Vikas Sabha’ of the party.
“There has been no development in the state — no roads, poor electrification in rural areas. Can Mamataji tell the people of the state where the money went,” Shah was quoted as saying by PTI. He also took a swipe at Banerjee for protesting demonetisation and said, “While the entire world has been praising the note ban, only Didi (Mamata) was crying hoarse.” The BJP president also exhorted the people of Bengal to give his party a chance “since you have already tried the the Congress, the Left and the TMC”.
Yesterday Amit Shah had visited a slum in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Bhawanipur assembly constituency and got a warm welcome from the people. While being greeted by the local residents there, Shah said that PM Narendra Modi’s ‘vijay rath’ would roll into Bengal in 2019. The BJP president got a warm welcome with some residents blowing conch shells and doing ‘aarti’ to greet him while the others showered flower petals on him as he visited a house negotiating a narrow lane, a PTI report said.
Some residents said they offered him ‘rasogolla’ and sugar-less lassi as Shah enquired about their well-being and the problems faced by them. Some residents regretted that they could not meet him due to a surging crowd. Before visiting the ‘Lockgate Basti,’ Shah interacted with the booth-level workers of his party in the Bhawanipur constituency and urged them to visit the people at the grassroot level to expand the party’s base “Remember, you are a member of the world’s biggest political party. PM Modi’s policy is to take everybody along. There should not be any injustice to anyone. It is sabka sath, sabka vikash,” he told them, the PTI report said.