Launching an all-out attack against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday accused her of "unleashing violence" on her political rivals. Shah also exuded confidence that the saffron party would win 22 of the state's 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019.
Addressing a public rally in Purulia, Shah asserted that the BJP will oust Trinamool Congress from West Bengal and ridiculed Mamata's bid to form a grand alliance for next year's Lok Sabha polls, saying she should first take care of her own state.
In rigorous attacks at the Mamata-led TMC government, the BJP chief said that its people "who are used to listening to Rabindra Sangeet are now hearing the sound of bomb blasts".
Shah, who earlier in the day visited the families of the BJP workers who were allegedly killed in the political violence, said their sacrifice will not go waste.
"More than 20 of our party workers were killed in the state in recent past. Their sacrifice will not go waste. I challenge Mamata Banerjee that we will dethrone you in coming days," he said.
He further said the next general elections will lay the foundation stone for change in the state and the party will win 22 Lok Sabha seats. The BJP had won two seats in the 2014 elections.
Hitting back, the TMC advised Shah to pay more attention to his party's government at the Centre.
TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee told reporters in Kolkata that Shah should be "more worried" about the BJP-led government at the Centre and in states where assembly polls are due, instead of "looking" at West Bengal.
Referring to Shah's claim that BJP would win 22 Lok Sabha seats in the state, he said the party was "day dreaming".
On Mamata's move to form a grand alliance against the BJP in the next parliamentary poll, Shah said, "We have no objection to her move to cobble up an alliance of opposition parties, but before doing that she should be worried that the political ground in Bengal is slipping out of her hands."
Claiming that the BJP will win two-third majority in the next Lok Sabha elections, he said that the party will make the Mamata Banerjee government lose its sleep.
He said though Mamata had raised the slogan of 'Maa Mati Manush' and claimed to work for the development of the people, "The bitter truth is that the women folk in rural areas have still to walk five km to fetch water and electricity has not reached the homes of the poor."
Shah also alleged that despite the central government's financial help, development has taken a back seat in the stateand "only bomb-making industry and TMC's syndicate business have flourished".
"Violence has never been the culture of Bengal. This is a state of great personalities such as Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhya among others. And you all can see what Mamata has done to this state."
He said that the UPA II government gave Bengal Rs 1.32 lakh crore in the 13th Finance Commission, while the Narendra Modi government gave Rs 3.60 lakh crore.
"But has the benefits reached the people? Where has the money gone? Who comes between the Modi government and the people of the state? TMC syndicates have eaten away the money," the BJP president claimed.
He also claimed that the Modi government is offering money under many welfare schemes for the poor and backward people, but the TMC regime is refusing it saying it was not needed.
Shah alleged that West Bengal's debt has risen from from Rs two lakh crore during the Left Front regime to Rs 3.5 lakh crore under the TMC dispensation.
Keeping up his diatribe, the BJP president said that if the people of Bengal want to stop the illegal immigration from Bangladesh then they have to dethrone the Mamata-led TMC government.
"Tripura also faced similar problems. People there decided to bring in a change and threw out the Marxists and voted for the BJP. Now the border has become so impenetrable that not a fly cannot enter," he claimed.
The stage from which Shah spoke was named after Trilochan Mahato, Dulal Kumar and Jagannath Tudu, who the BJP claimed were killed for working for the saffron party in the May panchayat polls in Bengal.
"The TMC had unleashed terror in the last panchayat poll but despite so much of violence it could not stop the
BJP from winning so many seats," he said.
In his reaction, Chatterjee said the people of the country will defeat the "anti-people" BJP government in the next Lok Sabha election.
He said BJP's politics of dividing people along religious lines will not work in West Bengal and the people of the state "will defeat the sinister designs of BJP."
"It will lose the two Lok Sabha seats - Asansol and Darjeeling this time. They should stop day dreaming," he added.
(With PTI inputs)