Why is Bengal Tiger Neck-deep in Graft, Modi Asks Mamata
BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, whom West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had dubbed a “paper tiger”, on Sunday shot back at the TMC chief, asking what would she do if she came face-to-face with a real tiger given that she was already afraid of a “paper tiger”.
“Why are you so afraid of this paper tiger? If a real tiger comes face to face with you, what will you do?” Modi asked while addressing public meetings in Bankura and Asansol Lok Sabha constituencies.
Mamata, without naming Modi, had referred to him as a “paper tiger” after the latter questioned the sale of her painting for Rs 1.86 crore at an election rally at Sreerampur.
At all poll campaign meetings, she had been saying: “He is nothing but a paper tiger. The real Royal Bengal tiger exists only in the Sunderbans in West Bengal.”
Despite the heat in the afternoon the crowds at Bankura and Asansol were huge.
The Polo ground at Asansol was teeming with people inside as well as outside though Modi reached late by around two hours.
Referring to the Sharada chit fund scam, he said: “Tigers do not shield those who loot. I will understand that you are a real tiger if you put the culprits behind bars and ensure that the money looted from poor people is returned. Why is the tiger neck-deep in corruption?
“What kind of a government exists in Bengal when some people can register a company, pose for photos with some leaders and then in the name of a chit fund mobilise funds of the poor and cheat them?” he asked.
The fact that Modi had done meticulous home work about West Bengal was evident when he raised the issue of the Teachers Eligibility Test scam in which only TMC supporters were allegedly given jobs.
“What were the parameters in giving such government jobs? A printout was taken from a computer and appointment letters was issued to aspirants. What were they asked during the interviews? It was a big game of corruption.
“Here you have Didi and in Delhi, a government run by the mother-and-son duo,” he remarked.
He spoke at length explaining his stand on infiltration from Bangladesh and alleged that “vote-bank politics by the Left, Congress and Didi” was destroying the state.
“They are not concerned about the employment opportunities of our youths but providing them to infiltrators from Bangladesh. There are two types of people who come from there. There is a section of people who worship “Bharatmata”, speak Bengali and are being persecuted because of their religion and seek refuge here.
“There are many who infiltrate just to earn a livelihood. They have to go back,” he said.
Modi reiterated his plan for the state’s development if he came to power at the Centre and explained his “dual advantage plan for Bengal,” saying, “Bengal has been always neglected by the Centre but I will work for your development sitting in Delhi. Let there be a competition among us to do good for Bengal. Even your Didi will have to run for that cause. It will be double advantage for you.”
He spoke about “Mamata Banerjee’s friendship with the Congress leaders in Delhi” and commented: “With a BJP government at the Centre, she has to stop her theatrics and work for development along with us.”
With the state BJP demanding a repoll in all the nine Lok Sabha constituencies which went to the polls on April 30, Modi criticised the Election Commission for its failure to conduct free and fair polls.
“Elections during the third phase in Bengal were rigged and the poll commission failed in its duties. They have to ensure free and fair polls in the coming two phases,” he went on.