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Modi calls for ‘real change’; Will happen in Delhi, says Didi

Abhishek Law Kolkata March 7 | Updated on March 07, 2021

PM Modi addresses a public rally in Kolkata on Sunday   -  BIKAS DAS

‘Trinamool is now in its end-game. Vote without fear. Your vote now will determine the course of Bengal’

The BJP’s poll campaign in West Bengal got a major boost on Sunday with Bollywood veteran and Bengali icon, Mithun Chakraborty joining the party and throwing his hat into the poll fray ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally.

Modi himself went all out to woo voters, as he put forward a roadmap for development of the State and its capital city - pitching Kolkata as “city of the future”.

Calling it “game-over for Trinamool”, the Prime Minister did not stick to the usual line of attacking the ruling Trinamool Congress or highlighting governance gaps. Instead, he spelt out a development roadmap that could be taken up if BJP comes to power here.

Re-starting smart city projects (which were stalled in Bengal following opposition from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee); development of Kolkata; putting in place an ecosystem to aid setting up start-ups; job creation; transparency in recruitment processes - for teachers, para teachers, government posts; uplifting living conditions of the poor; housing for all; piped water connection on rural areas; facilitating Mudra loans and financing unorganised sector entrepreneurs — all found prominent and detailed mention in Modi’s speech.

A recent episode, where an 80-year-old mother of a BJP worker was beaten up allegedly by Trinamool backed goons found mention in the speech as an instance of declining law and order in the State. Video clips of the woman making specific allegations against perpetrators had gone viral recently.

“Trinamool is now in its end-game. Do not be afraid. Vote without fear. Your vote now will determine the course of Bengal for the next 25 years. Bengal should show the way as India celebrates 100 years of Independence. Its time for asol poriborton (real change),” he said at the rally in Brigade Parade Grounds in Kolkata.

Mithun Chakraborty, once known for his proximity to the Left, was a Rajya Sabha MP of the Trinamool. He quit the party and MP post following the Saradha Ponzi Scheme Scam of 2012 in which names of senior TMC leaders were linked.

Charge of Nepotism

Taking on Mamata Banerjee’s poll campaign, where she has positioned herself as Bengal’s daughter; the Prime Minister said she was “India’s daughter” and people here loved her like their “elder sister” (Didi as she is called here). But Banerjee choose only “one” referring to her nephew, Abhishek, over others.

“You were Didi to all the people of Bengal. But then, you chose to be the aunt of only one person. You stood up against nepostism in Congress and then you yourself fell for that,” Modi said as he reiterated how syndicates, a culture of “commission” was driving away investments and stalling development work and infrastructure projects.

Mamata Retorts

CM Mamata Banerjee at a rally, in Siliguri on Sunday   -  AFP

 

Meanwhile, Banerjee too retorted from a public rally at Siliguri.

Alleging that the “country was being put on sale” (with privatisation of banks, sell of PSUs and so on), the Chief Minister dared the Prime Minister to come on a “one-on-one debate” with her.

Common people were being inconvenienced following the rise in prices of cooking gas ans petrol; while the Centre was looking the other way.

“Change will not come in Bengal. We will be in power here. But there will soon be a change in Delhi,” she said.

Published on March 07, 2021

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