price hike, farmers protests Kolkata, Feb 22 (PTI) The ruling TMC in West Bengal on Monday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his hard-hitting comments against the Mamata Banerjee government calling it 'a bag of lies' and said he first owes an explanation to the people for his failure to control fuel prices and the ongoing farmers' agitation.
Making a strong pitch for a BJP government in West Bengal, where Assembly polls are due in April-May, to usher in 'asol poribortan' (real change), Modi during his visit to the state during the day sought to punch a hole in TMC's main poll plank of Bengali pride by pointing to the 'utter neglect' to Bengali icons and its culture.
Launching a frontal attack on the Mamata Banerjee government, Modi had also alleged that it has perpetuated 'syndicate raj' in all spheres of life in West Bengal where no work gets done without ordinary people having to pay 'cut money'.
'Bag of lies. The PM delivers a speech that fails #FactCheck', TMC parliamentary party leader in Rajya Sabha Derek O'Brien tweeted.
The party's spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said 'Before questioning the TMC government, he (Modi) should first explain the reason behind his government's failure to control fuel prices. Why has his government failed to address the issues that have led to farmer's agitation in the country? 'The allegations that he made against the TMC government were baseless and politically motivated,' he said.
Referring to Prime Minister's 'Syndicate raj' jibe, Ghosh said, 'Those who were founders of this syndicate in Bengal are now with the BJP. He should first ask his leaders and then point fingers at others'.
He hit out Modi's allegations that Durga Puja is not allowed in Bengal as a 'lie'. 'Is he aware that the state government provided Rs 50,000 financial assistance to each Puja committee in 2020? He should first get hold of facts and then speak'.
On Modi's allegation that TMC has insulted Bengali pride, party MP Sougata Roy said BJP leaders and the prime minister should be the last person to talk about it.
'It is the same BJP party which had vandalized the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar during the Lok Sabha poll.
The people of Bengal know very well BJP's true character.
'We don't need lessons from either the prime minister or BJP on respecting our icons. The BJP has always insulted Bengali icons and our culture,' Roy said.
O'Brien, who is also the TMC national spokesperson, questioned the awards given to Bengal in the implementation of various social schemes if it was performing so poorly.
'Today, the senior-most member of the 'tourist gang' bad-mouthed Bengal in his 'teleprompter performance'. Then how come the Centre awards us #1 in 100 days work Small Scale Industries Rural Housing Rural Road Minority Scholarship Skill Development EODB- Business e-Tendering & more,' he tweeted.
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