KOLKATA: The Mamata Banerjee government has deprived a large section of households in rural Bengal of the 'Jal Jeevan Mission', Centre’s piped water supply project. He claimed that more than Rs 1,000 crore, sanctioned for Bengal to implement the project, has been drained out.
"Today, I am making a stunning revelation which is going to surprise the country. Around 3.6 crore rural households have been brought under the water supply project. But in Bengal, only 9 lakh households have received direct drinking water supply in their homes. The central government had sanctioned Rs 1,700 crore for the project but, unfortunately, only Rs 690 crore have been duly used and rest is drained out," said Modi while addressing a rally in Hooghly’s Dunlop ground.
Modi held the Bengal government responsible for the plight of the rural homemakers who struggle to fetch drinking water. "Women are forced to walk to distant places to collect drinking water every day. They struggle to get drinking water. Aren’t they daughters of Bengal? People of Bengal will not forgive and they will give a reply to this injustice in the upcoming Assembly elections," lashed out Modi.
The PM’s narrative linking 'daughters of Bengal' is said to be a smart move to blunt the TMC’s recent election slogan -- Bangla Chay Banglar Meye (Bengal wants its own daughter) -- projecting Mamata Banerjee as the CM face in the upcoming elections and branding BJP a party of outsiders. "He (Modi) highlighted the plight of Bengal’s woman to counter the ruling party’s slogan," said a BJP leader.
Modi also launched a bitter attack on the issue of lack of industrialisation in Bengal while addressing the rally on the ground of Dunlop factory, the tyre manufacturing unit that has been lying closed.
"During my visit to foreign countries, I found there is no lack of interest in investing in Bengal. But in past one decade, the state administration has failed to work for the interest of people and stood as a barrier on the path of infrastructural development. The TMC’s 'Maa, Mati, Manush' slogan doesn’t exist here anymore. All these years, the TMC has submerged into cut money, syndicate and appeasement, debunking the interest of the common people. Now, even if someone wants to rent a building, he is to pay cut money," Modi said.
Signifying the importance of Hooghly, the PM reminded how jute industries used to be a thriving business on the banks of the river. "The industrial zone is limping and suffering from a development crisis. People are forced to go to other states to earn a living. After wresting power in Bengal, the new government will prioritise the infrastructural development and bring back Bengal’s glory in the field of investment," the PM said in his speech.