The TMC has pushed Bengal towards division instead of development and divided people on religious lines, alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing a rally at Kolkata Brigade Parade ground ahead of Bengal State Assembly Elections on Sunday.
Modi said that Mamata Banerjee is not the same person who raised her voice against the Left and referred to the TMC having broken off from the Congress.
Modi also took a jibe at Mamata Banerjee over her video riding a scooty in protest against fuel price hike. "It is good that you have not fallen(from the scooty), otherwise you would've made the state in which it has become a scooty, would have made that state its enemy."
Modi exhorted the crowd to chant slogans against corruption, tolaabaazi, syndicate, unemployment and violence, terrorism and injustice. "Bengal had chosen you in the role of 'Didi' but why did you limit yourself to the aunt of only one nephew," Modi asked, targeting Mamata Banerjee and her nephew.
Modi alleged that the democratic system has been destroyed in the state and promised that the BJP will strengthen this system.
"Next 25 years important for Bengal's development and the next five years will form the foundation for the next 25 years. This time you will vote for taking Bengal to the new heights," he added.
“They made promises to work for ‘Maa, maati, manush’. But you tell me, has TMC been able to bring change in the lives of common people here in the last 10 years?,” Modi said.
Earlier in the day, actor Mithun Chakraborty, who has been Trinamool Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP in the past, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In his first address as a BJP leader, Chakraborty said, “I do what I say. Have faith in your dada. Dada has never abandoned you.”
During the rally, he also recited his famous dialogue 'marbo ekhaney...lash porbay shoshaney (will beat you up here, your body will land at the crematorium) — a dialogue from his hit Bengali movie MLA Fatakeshto. However, he insisted that it will not remain just a dialogue any more.
Highlights from PM Modi's address:
Sunday's rally was the first major event of the saffron party in West Bengal after declaration of eight-phase elections in the state.
Yesterday, Chakraborty also met BJP’s Kailash Vijayvargiya last night, with the leader tweeting that he was “floored” by the actor’s patriotism and love for the poor and downtrodden.
The 294-member West Bengal Assembly will go to polls in eight phases between 27 March and 29 April. The counting will take place on 2 May.
(With inputs from agencies and News18)