NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: BJP chief J P Nadda on Thursday alleged that the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal is working with an “anti-Hindu mindset”. Nadda claimed that the Mamata Banerjee government deliberately decided on lockdown in the state on August 5 when PM Modi laid foundation of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
“Mamata Banerjee had lifted lockdown just five days ago on the occasion of Bakrid, but she imposed when the foundation of Ram temple was being laid to hurt the sentiments of millions of Hindus. If this is not politics of appeasement and vote bank, then what it be called,” Nadda said addressing the state executing of the BJP on Thursday through video conference.
“The TMC government is working with anti-Hindu mindset.” The BJP state unit has seen faction fighting with the party leaders vying for spaces ahead of the next year’s Assembly elections in Bengal.
Senior leader Kailash Vijayvargiya has been tasked by the party top brass to get the semblance of unity in the state unit.
Nadda told the state executive that the BJP has to aim for 50 per cent vote share in the state to “throw the anti-poor Mamata Banerjee government”.
“In 2011, the BJP had polled just 4%, which grew to 18% in 2014. The BJP polled 40% vote share in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The party has now to work to get 50% vote share in the Assembly elections,” he said.
Slamming the ruling party in West Bengal for running a "corrupt dispensation", Nadda said even Rabindranath Tagore's legacy was "sullied" by the TMC-backed "land mafia" at Visva- Bharati University at Santiniketan.
He exuded confidence that the saffron party will come to power in West Bengal with 50 per cent vote share in the assembly elections due next year.
"When the entire country was watching the 'bhoomi pujan' (of Ram temple in Ayodhya), Mamata Banerjee imposed a lockdown in West Bengal on August 5 to prevent people from being part of the occasion at the local level.
"In sharp contrast, lockdown was withdrawn due to Bakrid on July 31. This shows that the state government's policies are driven by an anti-Hindu mindset and appeasement politics," Nadda said, while digitally addressing the newly- formed state committee of the saffron party.
Nadda said the BJP did not have a problem with lifting the lockdown during Bakrid but wanted to know why restrictions were imposed on August 5 when the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ram temple was taking place.
On the ongoing turmoil at Visva-Bharati University that has led to the closure of its campus, Nadda said, "Rabindranath Tagore's soul must be in great pain due to anarchy at the institution, which he had founded with a lot of love and compassion."
Urging BJP workers and leaders to take the party's "message of development" to various parts of the state, Nadda said, "Time has come to unmask the corrupt TMC government and pack it off lock, stock and barrel in the assembly elections."
In the 2011 assembly polls, the BJP had garnered around two per cent vote share in West Bengal.
"We have to continue this winning streak and come to power in West Bengal in the 2021 assembly elections with 50 per cent vote share," Nadda said.
Assembly polls are likely in April-May next year.
Hitting out at the West Bengal government over the political killings in the state, he wondered why the "champions of democracy" were silent on the "death of more than 100 BJP activists" in the state.
"There is no end to political violence in West Bengal. Every day, our party workers are being attacked and killed. If this is not jungle raj, then what is? "Why the champions of democracy fall silent when it comes to violence in West Bengal? TMC goons have killed more than 100 BJP activists in the state," he said.
Nadda alleged corruption is omnipresent in West Bengal and was in evidence in distribution of foodgrains and other relief material when cyclone Amphan struck the state and lakhs of hungry, destitute migrant workers returned during the lockdown.
"All cut money (underhand commission) goes to the TMC," he alleged.
The BJP chief said the West Bengal government is depriving the poor and the farmers of the benefits of central schemes like Ayushman Bharat and Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi by opting to keep away.
"The TMC is creating a barrier between the people of West Bengal and central schemes," he said.
Accusing the West Bengal government of "mishandling" the COVID-19 crisis, he said an inter-ministerial central team had to face several roadblocks during its visit to the state in April.
He alleged the TMC government had not allowed Shramik Special trains to enter West Bengal as it was not keen to take back the migrant workers.
"Mamata Banerjee had called Shramik Special trains 'Corona Express'. Such statements are unacceptable," he said.
Nadda said the Narendra Modi government showed the world how to successfully fight COVID-19, which earned it plaudits.
Lawlessness at peak in Bengal, women unsafe under Mamata Banerjee's rule: Vijayvargiya
Asserting that law and order situation has reached its nadir in West Bengal under the TMC dispensation, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya on Thursday claimed that women are not safe in the state, even though the chief minister herself is a woman.
Vijayvargiya, who is the saffron party's Bengal minder, claimed that "one set of laws is applicable in the whole country barring this state, where only Mamata Banerjee's rules prevail".
"Bengal has a woman chief minister but women in the state are not safe," he said, while pointing out to the recent gangrape case of two women in Jalpaiguri district, one of whom allegedly died by suicide.
He also said that BJP's women workers were being attacked in different parts of the state.
"The perpetrators of such acts enjoy the patronage of the government. They will be shown their place. All law- breakers and their accomplices will be sent behind bars after the 2021 Assembly elections," he said, expressing confidence that the saffron party will be voted to power in the state.
"I am astounded that a people's representative was hanged to death, and the police called it a case of suicide," Vijayvargiya said, referring to unnatural demise of BJP MLA Debendra Nath Roy in July.
Accusing the state of doling out cyclone Amphan relief to people affiliated with the ruling dispensation, he said the poor and the affected were deprived of financial aid.
"Those who have four-storey houses have received Rs 20,000 cash relief, meant for the poor," the BJP leader said.
Contending that news outlets were being muzzled in the state, he said "media is the fourth pillar of democracy, but it cannot say anything that is critical of the government because of the TMC's highhandedness," he said.
Vijayvargiya also sought to know why the TMC government had ordered a lockdown in the state on August 5, coinciding with the foundation-laying ceremony of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
He alleged that the TMC government has failed to manage the COVID-19 situation and the migrant crisis.
"Bengal has the highest number of unemployed youths in the country. Young men and women, after completing education, are compelled to move to other states for work. Around 25 to 30 lakh people from Bengal, who work in other states, wanted to come back after the nationwide lockdown was imposed, but the CM was not willing to have them back."
"I hail from Madhya Pradesh and the BJP government there made arrangements for three trains to send workers back home to Bengal," the saffron party leader said.
He claimed that "the BJP, on forming government in the state after next elections, will bring industries" to the state and ensure that it lives up to the tag of 'Sonar Bangla' (Golden Bengal) again.
"More than 1,000 small and large industries have closed down in the state under the TMC rule. The Mamata Banerjee government's global investment meets are flop shows," Vijayvargiya claimed.
Slamming TMC leaders for allegedly taking cut money (commission) from the beneficiaries of government schemes, the BJP's Bengal minder said, "It is surprising that a chief minister had to ask them to return the money. I have never seen such honesty among the dishonest."
(With PTI Inputs)