KOLKATA: BJP president Amit Shah on Tuesday sounded the poll bugle in West Bengal saying the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be decisive for the ruling Trinamool Congress and warned that the saffron party will 'fight for inches'.
Speaking to BJP workers at a rally in a hurriedly convened venue in Malda district here on Tuesday, the BJP president said:"The 2019 election is very important for Bengal. It is an election for establishment of democracy in the state. It will decide whether TMC rule will continue or not."
Lashing out at the Mamata Banerjee government for alleged rigging and threats to opposition candidates to withdraw their nominations in the run up to the panchayat elections held in May last year, the BJP president said:"This election won't be like panchayat elections. Central forces will guard the polling centres."
Though the saffron party won the most number of seats after TMC, the margin was huge and the ruling party succeeded in increasing its tally from the previous election. BJP alleged a major portion of their victory was an outcome of intimidation by TMC cadres.
Twitching the sensitive nerve of cross-border migration, the BJP president said: "All persecuted religious minorities from Bangladesh will be given shelter in West Bengal. But the TMC doesn't want Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or NRC (National Register of Citizenship) to materialise."
He also promised to stop cattle smuggling and human infiltration across the border if BJP comes to power in the state. He urged the BJP workers to win more than 23 of the 42 seats in the state.
Reacting on the January 19 'United India' rally at Brigade Parade Grounds, Shah stated: "There were so many leaders but no one uttered 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' even once. This is an 'alliance of motives'."
Speaking on West Bengal's recent pull out of Centre's Ayushman Bharat scheme, the BJP president said that injustice is being meted out to the people of West Bengal as they are not being able to avail the Rs 5 lakh health cover scheme, unlike other parts of the country. He also alleged that the state government could not pay Dearness Allowance (DA) its employees as it has lost its money in Sarada and Narada scams.
The BJP president will address a public meeting at Jhargram on Wednesday and in Birbhum on Thursday. He landed at Bagdogra on Tuesday morning and took a helicopter to Malda, where his chopper landed at an open space near his hotel and drove him to the venue by 2 pm. The state government had denied permission to the BJP president's chopper to land at Malda Airport citing repair works.
Though the BJP decried the move stating that the airport was in a perfect condition and that state government helicopters regularly land there and issued a statement saying that the landing space was small, the saffron party finally accepted the location and said that the chopper would be able to land there.
The venue for the rally was lent to BJP by a local CPM leader Tarun Ghosh. Local BJP leaders approached him in the eleventh hour on Monday and he readily agreed. "I don't see anything wrong in giving the land for BJP's meeting. It was lying vacant and I did not have any problem in lending it out to them," he said.