KOLKATA: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday made a no holds barred attack against the Mamata Banerjee government on Bengal’s COVID response, saying the migrants returning home will ensure the exit of her government in next year’s state elections.
At a virtual rally from New Delhi, Shah asserted that the migrants returning to Bengal will derail Mamata’s government and her party. He also warned Mamata that Bangladeshi refugees will make her a "political refugee" because of her stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
“I was shocked when Mamata called Shramik trains, in which poor labourers are coming back to meet their families and loved ones, as Corona Express. This is an insult to the migrants who were stranded in other states. This Corona Express will ensure your exit from Bengal in next election,” he said, claiming Bengal received only 325 Shramik trains as against 1,700 of Uttar Pradesh and 1,500 of Bihar.
Shah was alluding to Mamata’s quip that Shramik trains packed with migrant workers would turn into “Corona Express’’.
Hitting out at Mamata for coming out on streets against the CAA, Shah accused the Trinamool boss of practicing appeasement politics. ‘’The day the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed, she was furious. I never saw any politician react like that way. I want to ask her why she is against ‘Matuas’ (a Hindu sect that migrated from Bangladesh) and refugees. Why is she depriving our persecuted brothers and sisters from Bangladesh of their citizenship rights?”
The Home Minister also accused Mamata of stopping central government’s schemes like Ayushman Bharat and PM KISAN and depriving the poor from its benefits. “She is preventing the farmers of Bengal from receiving an annual assistance of Rs 6,000. Give us the list on Saturday and we will disburse the amount by Monday.’’
Later, Trinamool’s national spokesperson Derek O’Brien described Shah as an ‘imitation master'. “The central projects he mentioned in his virtual speech were launched in Bengal by Mamata Banerjee much before the Centre thought of it.”