KOLKATA/JAIPUR: Election fever went up another notch on Saturday with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah vowing to uproot the Trinamool Congress from West Bengal and Congress president Rahul Gandhi launching a scathing attack on the saffron party over the Rafale fighter jet deal at a rally in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
“We are here to uproot Mamata Banerjee,” declared Shah, whose convoy was greeted with black flag-waving Congress supporters on arrival in Kolkata before the police cleared the route to the rally venue at Mayo Road.
Insisting that “For the BJP country comes first, vote bank comes after that”, he demanded the West Bengal CM to clarify her stand on the National Register of Citizens which aims to identify illegal immigrants in Assam. “Rahul Gandhi and Mamata didi should clarify whether national security is important for them or the vote bank. For the BJP, the country comes first,” he said.
Shah, who is on his fifth visit to West Bengal over the past year, has asked the party cadre to ensure that the party win at least 22 out of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 elections. At the moment, the party has only two MPs from the state.
At the other end of the country, Rahul Gandhi, on his first election rally in Rajasthan, took on the BJP. He accused PM Narendra Modi of writing off the debt worth Rs 2.30 lakh crore of some 15 industrialists close to him while refusing to write off farmers’ debts.
“When the biggest industrialists take credit worth lakhs of assets and do not return it, you call it non-performing assets. But when a farmer or a small businessman is unable to pay off his debt, you call him a defaulter and put them in jail.”
Trying to corner the government on the job front, the Congress chief claimed that only 450 youths get employment in the country per day while China creates 50,000 jobs.
"Our youths are more honest, capable and stronger than the Chinese but it is a matter of shame that despite having almost an equal population, they are getting fewer job opportunities," he said.