Narendra Modi addresses a mass rally ahead of Bengal assembly elections at the Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata on Sunday. AFP
In his first public rally after announcement of dates for the eight-phase Assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday went full-throttle against the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal.
The 294-member West Bengal Assembly will go to the polls in eight phases between March 27 and April 29. Counting of votes will take place on May 2.
Countering Trinamool’s ‘Khela hobe’ campaign slogan, he said: “Trinamool ka khela khatam, vikas shuru... What game have you not played with people of Bengal? Extortion, corruption... you even played with the lives of people. Your game is up,” he said, mocking the Trinamool.
He said the next 25 years are very important for the development of Bengal as the development here in the next 5 years will lay the foundation for it.
Modi said that ‘Ashol Poriborton’ (real change) in Bengal means where trade and business would flourish, where maximum investment would come.
“’Ashol Poriborton’ means Bengal will have modern infrastructure of the 21st century,” he said, asking “Has change come in Bengal? Have you got what was promised?”
Preparing a roadmap for the upcoming polls, he also urged people to vote Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fearlessly and vote against bad governance.
Modi said that he never saw such a huge turnout in any political rally ever in his life.
He said that his visit was targeted to reassure the people of Bengal that the BJP would work towards a better tomorrow.
“Let me assure you that we will leave no stone unturned to develop Bengal. We want Bengal to be full of employment opportunities so that people do not have to go out. Real change means 21st century infrastructure, more investment, comprehensive growth and more economic power to poor people,” he pointed out.
Modi said that the Centre had worked very hard to develop Kolkata but due to Trinamool’s “commission culture,” many important projects of Kolkata airport got stuck.
“BJP will stop this and complete those projects,” he said, adding that the democratic system has been destroyed in Bengal during the Trinamool regime. but the BJP will strengthen this system.
“We will bring the change to re-establish public belief in government systems, in the police, and the administration...Kolkata also has a legacy of a rich past and also has future prospects. Then why can’t Kolkata be a city of future while preserving its culture?” he said.
He urged the gathering to vote against bad governance and to free people from fear.
Meanwhile, as Modi was addressing a public rally at in Kolkata, Mamata Banerjee on Sunday took out a protest march in north Bengal’s Siliguri against hike in domestic LPG cylinder prices.
Demanding reduction in LPG prices, the CM said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is “looting” people by regularly hiking LPG prices.
“Women have been hit the hardest and I am disgusted at the Centre’s lack of intent to cut taxes and lessen their burden. In protest, today I took out an all-women ‘michil’ at Siliguri,” she said.
Banerjee said that “poribortan” (change) will happen in Delhi, not in Bengal”.
“PM Modi said there is no security for women in Bengal but look at UP, Bihar and other BJP-ruled states, women can’t step out even after 3:00pm Women are safe in Bengal,” she said.
Raising Trinamool’s much popular ‘Khela Hobe’ slogan, the CM said that her party is also set to play. “I am ready to play one-on-one...If the BJP wants to buy votes, take the money and cast your vote for TMC,” she said.
Indo-Asian News Service
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