Shah calls Rahul 'tourist politician', blames Mamata for denial of citizenship to Matuas

·4-min read

(Eds: Adds inputs) Tehatta/ Khardah, Apr 16 (PTI) Union Home Minister Amit Shah Friday accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of denying citizenship to Dalit Matua and Namsudra communities as her 'vote bank would not like it'.

Reaching out to the two numerically strong communities that can infuence the outcome of assembly elections in many seats, Shah said a Rs 100 crore fund will be created for their welfare if the BJP is voted to power in the state.

He also mocked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, calling him a 'tourist politician'.

Shah, who during his whirlwind tour of Bengal, addressed two rallies and participated in two road shows, said Banerjee's TMC will struggle to cross double digits. The state has 294 assembly seats and the TMC had clinched 184 in the 2016 state polls.

'These Matua and Namsudra families are living here for 50-70 years, for three generations. But Didi says they will not get citizenship, why? Because her vote back will not like it,' he told an election rally in Tehatta in Nadia district.

'Shouldn't the Matuas, Namsudras and other such communities get citizenship? Didi says they will not get citizenship till the time she's in power. BJP will give all such communities citizenship under CAA as soon as we form the government,' he said.

Taking a swipe at Rahul Gandhi, who addressed his first two election rallies on Wednesday after keeping off the campaign in the state where his party is contesting in alliance with the Left while fighting against it in Kerala, Shah branded him a 'tourist politician'.

'A tourist politician arrived in Bengal after almost the entire poll got over and questioned our DNA. Rahul baba has asked about BJP's DNA. I would like to inform him - D - development, N - nationalism, A - Aatmanirbhar Bharat... This is BJP's DNA,' he said.

Later, while addressing a rally at Khardah, Shah said 'Rahul Baba, for us DNA means hard work.' 'You should be the last person to talk about our DNA.

Here you are doing 'ILU-ILU' (reference to a love song from 2000 film Saudagar to mock Congress-Left alliance in Bengal).

In Kerala, you are fighting against the communists. You are confused and so is your party,' he said, a sardonic smile crossing his face.

Accusing Banerjee of instigating people against the central forces, Shah said, 'TMC goons' will not be allowed a free run.

Flaying 'dynasty politics' in the TMC, Shah said while the BJP wants to implement the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme for farmers in Bengal, 'Didi only wants Bhaipo (nephew) Samman Nidhi'.

Top BJP leaders have been accusing Banerjee's nephew and Diamond Harbour MP Abhishek Banerjee of wielding 'unwarranted influence' over the government machinery and running 'extortion syndicates'.

'After people's mandate on May 2 (counting day), nobody will be left to take cut money, the government of syndicates will be no more there, the government that works for Bhaipo will be gone,' he asserted.

Exuding confidence about coming to power bagging more than 200 seats, Shah said, 'Didi's TMC will struggle to reach triple figures.' Later, while addressing a rally at Khardah, Shah assailed Banerjee for blocking central schemes in the state.

'The central government wants to implement 115 schemes. But Didi is busy with 115 scams. She is only interested in making her nephew the chief minister,' he said.

The home minister also alleged the TMC government had failed to check infiltration.

'Let alone illegal immigrants, not even a bird from across the border will be allowed to enter Bengal. They take away the jobs of our youth and food of poor. Not the TMC, neither the Left, nor the Congress....only BJP can stop infiltration,' he asserted.

'Modiji wants economic development of the state and Didi wants development of the infiltrators. Now you decide what kind of government you want,' he said.

He claimed the demography of Nadia district, which shares border with Bangladesh, had got altered because of infiltration.

Referring to the 'Insider-Outsider' debate started by Banerjee in an apparent attempt to appeal to Bengali subnationalism, Shah said it is a 'shame' that people from other parts of the country are called outsiders in Bengal.

'During her speeches, Didi makes it a point to abuse me and the prime minister. She can abuse us, but she calls us outsiders. How are we outsiders in our own country? This is shameful,' he said.

Shah alleged Banerjee only promoted 'cut money and syndicate culture' in the ten years that she has been in power.

Shah said, if BJP is voted to power, Tehatta will be upgraded as a municipal town, meeting a long-pending demand of the local people.

While speaking at Khardah, Shah said efforts will be made to reopen the closed factories in the industrial belt of Barrackpore. PTI PNT SK SK