Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged that constituents of the INDIA bloc and the Congress did not criticise the Sandeshkhali violence in which a controversial Trinamool Congress leader is the main accused.

Modi, who is on a two-day visit to West Bengal, accused the Mamata Banerjee-led government in the State of creating hindrances in implementing Centrally-sponsored welfare schemes targeting poor, women, youth and farmers.

PM’s Condemnation

At a public rally in Bengal’s Hooghly district, the Prime Minister addressed the crowd a day after the arrest of absconding Trinamool Congress leader Shajahan Sheikh, accused of alleged sexual atrocities on women and land grabbing in Sandeshkhali. The Prime Minister stated, “The entire nation is watching Bengal’s condition today. The entire nation is in anger and pain after seeing what TMC has done with the sisters of Sandeshkhali.”

Modi alleged that the Chief Minister and the State government applied full strength to save Shajahan after the women of Sandeshkhali (in North 24 Parganas district) raised their voices and sought support from Banerjee. “BJP leaders fought to save the honour of the women. Eventually, Bengal police had to arrest the accused yesterday, facing huge pressure from the people and the BJP,” he said.

Following Shajahan’s arrest by the West Bengal police in connection with an alleged assault on ED officers during a raid earlier this year, ruling Trinamool Congress suspended its strongman from the party for a period of six years. A local court remanded him to 10-day police custody.

The Prime Minister questioned the “silence” of the members of the INDIA bloc alliance, including the Congress, on the Sandeshkhali issue.

“I am very ashamed to see the INDI bloc’s silence on Sandeshkhali atrocities. Big leaders of the INDIA bloc are resembling Mahatma Gandhi’s teen bandar (three monkeys). They sit together and hold meetings in Patna, Bengaluru and Mumbai. However, they are not eager to speak on this issue. Have Left and Congress sought answers from the TMC and the Chief Minister? They did not,” he said.

Modi alleged that the state government was creating “hindrance” in implementing Centrally-sponsored welfare schemes. “Projects worth crores are pending due to non-cooperation of the state government. The TMC government is also not allowing houses to be constructed for poor people under the Centrally-sponsored scheme. The Centre is releasing funds, but the state government is not utilising them properly. It is putting up roadblocks,” he added.

Before the public rally, the Prime Minister inaugurated different projects related to rail, port and petroleum, among others, worth over ₹7,000 crore in the state.