Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday promised to bring 'ashol poriborton' (real change) in West Bengal if the BJP forms the next government in the state. Addressing an election rally in Kharagpur, PM Modi recalled the revolutions that have originated from West Bengal. He said that Bengal is in the DNA of the BJP as he invoked the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, a forerunner of the BJP, founders to woo the voters of the coastal state where polling will be held in eight-phase, beginning March 27.
"I bow to the land of Bengal, and am fortunate to address such a huge rally," the Prime Minister said.
"The father of the Jana Sangh was the son of this Bengal. Therefore, if there is a Bengal party in the true sense, then it is the BJP. The BJP's DNA has the ethics, thoughts, behavior and values of Ashutosh Mukherjee and Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. With these values, we want to bring every region of Bengal to a new height of development. We not only want to feed lotus in Bengal but also want to make the future of the people of Bengal bright," the Prime Minister said.
"You have seen destruction by Congress and the Left. TMC ruined your dreams. In the last 70 years, you gave opportunities to everyone but give us 5 years, we will free Bengal from the 70 years of destruction, we will sacrifice our lives for you," he said.
"In this region, there is an outline of mini-India. India's diversity and presence of different languages is also a factor. The longest railway station as well as the first IIT of the country highlight Kharagpur. I am here to assure you of 'ashol poriborton' (real change)," he added.
PM Modi then praised Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh, saying that "despite regular attacks on Ghosh, he has not refrained from working for the state". Referring to the huge crowd at the rally ground here, he said, "Your excitement reflects that Bengal will form a BJP govt after the Vidhan Sabha elections. A BJP government is essential for a prosperous future of Bengal. 130 karyakartas from Bengal have laid down their lives in this struggle."
PM Modi said that agriculture, irrigation and cold storage facilities in this region will be made better once the BJP forms the government. This, he said, will directly benefit the potato farmers in the region. He also promised to improve the healthcare facilities and rural roads.
"We will ensure clean drinking water to every household in the region. We are committed to all-round development of this region," Modi said.
He said that wherever there are BJP governments in the states, the central and BJP governments are engaged in the service of "Janata-Janardan with the power of double engine".
"We are working with the mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas," he said, adding that "Didi (Mamata Banerjee) gave you 10 years of corruption, loot and destruction.”
Attacking Mamata Banerjee further, he said: "Last night, for 50-55 minutes, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram were down that left everyone worried! Here in Bengal, development, belief, dreams have been down for 50-55 years, and thus, I understand your impatience to bring in a change."
"Mamata Didi runs school of brutality where 'tolabaji' (extortion), cut money, syndicate and anarchy form syllabus," he said.
He accused Mamata Banerjee of crushing democracy. "Baba Saheb Ambedkar has given us the freedom of vote and to choose. However, in Bengal, Mamata is constantly looting your freedom to vote. In 2018 Panchayat elections, the rigging done by TMC was witnessed by the entire world. I assure the people of Bengal that Didi will not be able to trample over our democracy anymore. I assure the people of Bengal, that Didi will no longer be allowed to crush democracy. The police and administration should also remember that nothing is greater than the limits of the Constitution and democracy."
He then said that Mamata Banerjee is playing "khela" (game) of appeasement for vote bank politics. Ridiculing her over the "khela hobe" (game will happen) slogan, Modi said "Didir khela shesh hobe, vikas aarambh" (Didi's game will be over and development will start).
Referring to the 'Ayushman Bharat' health insurance scheme, the Prime Minister said the TMC government has not implemented it as it thought the Centre will get credit for the measure. "Mamata Didi stands like a wall to block central schemes," he alleged.
Raising the issue of illegal mining, he said, "The child here knows where the wires of illegal mining in the Subarnarekha River and Kansavati River are connected. After the BJP government comes to Bengal, strict action will be taken on all these, the rule of law will be established."
Targetting Mamata's nephey Abhishek Banerjee, he said, "Only single window that exists in Bengal today is single window of 'Bhaipo' (nephew), no work gets done without crossing it."
The BJP and ruling Trinamool Congress, headed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, are spearheading intense election campaign in West Bengal with the saffron party deploying its enviable political machinery to capture power in the state which it has never ruled. Several Union ministers, MPs and other leaders recognised for their organisational and poll management skills have been roped in by the saffron party to drive its campaign in the state, with special attention on the seats which it considers winnable.
The saffron party made deep inroads in West Bengal by winning 18 of its 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 - only four less than ruling TMC. The BJP wants to project it as an alternative to the Trinamool Congress which is ruling the state since 2011 under Mamata Banerjee’s leadership.
The party is organising a series of events wherein it is highlighting the failures of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with a focus on political killings, minority appeasement, and poor handling of the COVID-19 situation. The saffron party expects to repeat the 2019 performance in the upcoming Assembly elections.
Elections to the 294-member assembly will be held in eight-phase from March 27 to April 29. Results will be declared on May 2. The term of West Bengal Legislative Assembly will expire on May 30.