Kolkata: Barely two months after extending support to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s ‘show of unity’ against the BJP, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday compared her to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Addressing a huge gathering in Malda district, Gandhi said, “Modi ji and Mamata di...both the leaders are running governments without consulting anyone. Don’t you think there should be a people’s voice?”
“Mamata ji and Modi ji ka bhashan din bhar chalta rehta hain. They give never-ending speeches and only make false promises. Banerjee did nothing for the poor farmers and unemployed youth,” the Congress chief said at his first public rally in Bengal since April 2016.
He further accused the Trinamool chief of not consulting anyone before taking big political decisions. “Only one person is running Bengal. She does not bother to consult anyone. She does what she wants to do. I would like to ask the people of Bengal, don’t you have a voice? Every day, her party workers are beating the Congress workers. I condemn this and would like to assure you all that things will be different when we have a government at the Centre,” Gandhi said.
“On the other side we have a chowkidar (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) who makes false promises. He is the chowkidar (watchman) of rich people like Vijay Mallya, Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi. He is not the chowkidar of the poor,” he added.
In January, Gandhi had written to Banerjee and extended his support to the mega opposition rally she hosted in Kolkata.
Malda and Murshidabad have been the traditional strongholds of the Congress. The party recently suffered a setback when its sitting MP from Malda North, Mausam Benazir Noor, joined the ruling Trinamool.
In a veiled attack on Noor for his switch to the BJP, Gandhi said, “I want you to teach a lesson to the person who joined the other camp. This person betrayed you. Don’t forget this.”
Ever since the Trinamool came to power, the Congress has been losing ground in Bengal. In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the party secured just six out of the total 42 seats. The figures went down further as it secured only four seats in the 2014 parliamentary polls.