KOLKATA: The slugfest between the TMC and the BJP intensified over the issue of understanding Bengal’s cultural legacy.
The saffron camp’s national president JP Nadda on Thursday accused the ruling party of destroying Bengal’s cultural heritage and promised to bring back the state's glory’ if the party wrests power in the elections.
He promised the electorates belonging to the Matua community, a religious sect comprising Hindu Dalit refugees from Bangladesh, that after coming to power, the BJP government would set up a welfare wing for the community which will launch a slew of schemes for their betterment. The promise is said to be an attempt woo Matuas’ support, who are not happy as the Centre is yet to announce a deadline to implement the CAA and give them citizenship as promised before the general elections in 2019.
"The new BJP-led government in Bengal will set up a Matua welfare wing. We will launch a slew of schemes for Matuas which will include stipends for higher studies."
A major chunk of Matuas had shifted their political allegiance to the BJP from the TMC in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Dengue had spread here. State govt wasn't providing us reportings on dengue. People were dying here, as the then Health Minister I used to ask Mamata ji to give me reporting of dengue. She used to threaten the doctors that no reporting has to be done from here: BJP chief in WB pic.twitter.com/jH38tYmjBF— ANI (@ANI) February 25, 2021
"The BJP is emotionally attached to Bengal. During the era of Independence, Bengal used to be famous for its rich culture. The state gave us so many social reformers such as Swami Vivekanda, Rabindranath Tagore, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. We are committed to restoring the pride of its culture. After coming to power, we will bring back the state’s rich cultural glory," said Nadda, while flagging off the party's 'Lokhho Sonar Bangla' (Target to build up Sonar Bangla) crowdsourcing campaign in Kolkata.
Nadda’s comment on the context of Bengal’s cultural legacy came in the backdrop of CM Mamata Banerjee branded the saffron camp’s national leaders as "outsiders" and "illiterate about Bengal’s cultural legacy".
The BJP leader reiterated corruption charges on the ruling party saying that the TMC misused money and food grains sent by the Centre for cyclone Amphan-hit people. "The Calcutta High Court directed the Controller and Auditor General of India to do an audit of the distribution of relief materials and compensation in the cyclone-ravaged areas. But a scared Mamata didi challenged the decision in the Supreme Court. I would like to ask her whom she is trying to shelter?" Nadda asked.
He launched the party's outreach drive with the slogan ‘corruption-mukt, vikas yukt’ (corruption-free development). "The campaign will be conducted from March 3 to March 30 and our raths (chariots) will reach out to the people of 294 Assembly constituencies with our 'Sonar Bangla' vision. There will be nearly 30,000 suggestion boxes through which we will get feedback from the people," he said in his speech."We will end Naxalism in West Bengal. We will end coal smuggling and syndicate and cut money culture," he said.
Bengali actor Payal Sarkar joined the saffron party in the presence of Nadda.
Assembly elections in the state are due in April-May.