Birbhum (West Bengal) [India], December 20 (ANI): On the concluding day of his two-day tour of West Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that the recent attack on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president JP Nadda at Diamond Harbour was not just an attack on the BJP but an attack on the democratic system in West Bengal.
"My Bengal tour is ending today. Some days back, there was an attack on the convoy of our national president (JP Nadda) by Trinamool Congress workers at Diamond Harbour. We condemn this act. We believe that everyone has a right to raise their voice in democracy and take it to the people," Shah said at a press conference held here.
"People who are in power should ensure that every political party should be able to communicate their message to the people. I believe that an attack on the country's biggest political party's head is not just an attack on the BJP but an attack on the democratic system in West Bengal. The entire onus of this attack is on TMC government and party workers," he added.
Shah further said that such attacks by TMC will only make BJP stronger and BJP's answer will not be through violence but democracy.
"When power goes to the head, then such incidents take place. I want to convey to TMC that these acts will not deter BJP to step back in any way. BJP will grow stronger and act bolder if such attacks take place routinely. The answer to violence is not violence and the BJP workers have decided that we will answer violence with democracy," he said.
"My concern is that after this attack, there was no reasonable reaction of the state's chief minister. TMC leaders were seen supporting this attack. I want to mention that more than 300 BJP workers have been killed in the state. There is no investigation being conducted in these political killings," he added.
Shah further said: "Corruption is at its worst in West Bengal. In the relief work related to the cyclone, TMC used its workers to divert the funds and engage in corruption. The food materials sent for the poor during the coronavirus crisis was also not utilised by the state government. The entire responsibility of this is of the state government. Why is the state government afraid of a CAG audit?" he said.
"When there is nepotism in politics then such incidents take place one by one," he added.
Shah welcomed Suvendu Adhikari into the BJP fold and said all those leaders are welcome into the party who raise their voice against injustice.
"Many leaders from TMC and Congress have joined BJP. I welcome Suvendu Adhikari into the BJP fold. We believe that whoever raise their voice against injustice should join BJP," he said.
"The crowd that we witnessed in the roadshow at Birbhum was unprecedented," he added.
Shah further said that Bengal's contribution to industrial production sharply declined from being around 30 per cent at the time of independence to around 3.5 per cent today.
"When India got independence, one-third of the country's GDP was attributable to Bengal. The industrial production contribution of Bengal at that time was 30 per cent and it is 3.5 per cent today. In three decades of communist rule and one decade of TMC rule, this graph has constantly declined," he said.
"The only option now is BJP. Prime Minister Modi's 'Purvodaya' (rise of the east) mission should be supported by the people of West Bengal. Our objective is to make Bengal 'Sonar Bangla' under the leadership of PM Modi," he added.
Shah further mentioned the figures related to the various sectors of the economy of West Bengal and its position vis-a-vis the rest of India.
"As far as employment is concerned, satisfaction ratio was at 27 per cent in 1960 and now it is 4 per cent. The per capita income of West Bengal in 1960 was 105 per cent higher than Maharashtra and today it is half of what it is in Maharashtra. In 1960, West Bengal was a rich state. In 1950s, share of West Bengal in pharmaceutical production was around 70 per cent and now it is 7 per cent," he said.
"According to the figures collated in 2011-12, West Bengal was at the 20th place in terms of industrial growth amongst 32 states and UTs. CAGR is at 5.74 per cent. In the services sector, the growth rate diminished to 5.8 per cent and it is at 28th position in the country," he added.
Shah further added: "West Bengal's jute mills which were fledgling at the time of independence are now more or less closed. In terms of per capita income at current prices, West Bengal was at the 22nd position in the country in 2018-19."
"Between 2011-12 and 2019-20, in terms of growth of income West Bengal is at the 16th position. A child gets born with a deficit of Rs 50,000 in West Bengal according to estimates. In other states, it may be higher but there is no industrialisation in the state and thus the problem is grave here," he further said.
Shah also said that in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), in 2011-12 West Bengal's contribution was 1 per cent and it stays the same in 2019-20.
The Union Home Minister asked to which political party this decline was attributable in an apparent reference to the Left and the TMC.
Speaking on the health sector, Shah said, "There is a 58 per cent shortage of Primary Health Centres in West Bengal. There is a shortage of 36 per cent of Community Health Centres (CHCs) in West Bengal. In terms of availability of beds in hospitals, West Bengal is at the 23rd place in the country."
"There is a vacancy of 39 per cent of positions of PHC doctors in West Bengal. Around 87 per cent vacancy is there in specialty and surgery," he added.
Speaking on the education sector, Shah said, "There is no desk in 90 per cent primary schools in the state. In more than 30 per cent of schools, there are inadequate classrooms. In 10 per cent schools, there is no electricity connection. In 56 per cent schools, there is no toilet. There are 13 degree colleges per one lakh population."
He further said: "TMC will challenge these figures. I challenge them to discuss these figures with our Yuva Morcha president and he will make it clear where these figures have been collated from."
Shah's two-day visit to the state concludes today.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday said that the turnout of a sizeable number of people in his roadshow at Birbhum indicated that people of West Bengal are "angry" with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and want a change.
On Saturday, over 10 MLAs in Bengal apart from former minister Suvendu Adhikari joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in presence of Amit Shah. An MP and a former MP also joined the BJP.
West Bengal is due to go to assembly polls in mid-2021. (ANI)