LUCKNOW: BJP’s star campaigner, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, descended on poll-bound West Bengal on Tuesday with a rich embellishment to his ideological themes such as Ram temple, cow slaughter and ‘love jihad’ and warned the Mamata Banerjee government that it would ignore them at the cost of its ouster.
Yogi’s ‘how dare you’ speech at Malda took a swipe at his Bengal counterpart, who had felt “offended” with the chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
“I’d like to remind Mamata Didi that there was a government in UP which had ordered firing on Lord Ram devotees in Ayodhya. You can see the condition of that government now. Now it’s the TMC government’s turn,” he said.
Further harping on the theme of religious sentiments, Yogi said Durga Puja got “prohibited” in Bengal and cow slaughter was done during Eid.
Incidents of cow smuggling were going on with impunity while “the state government remains silent”.
He promised that cow smuggling will be stopped within a day if the BJP is voted to power in the state.
On ‘love jihad’, he said the state government must learn from UP which has made a law outlawing ‘forcible marriages’ that resulted in religious conversion.
"Appeasement politics for the sake of vote bank has endangered the security of not only West Bengal but also of the country.
The TMC has a problem with refugees getting citizenship but has no issue with illegal immigrants coming to the state," Adityanath said at a rally in the minority-dominated Gazole area of Malda district, which borders Bangladesh.
"Through fraud and deceit, incidents of 'Love Jihad' are taking place in Bengal. Women of the state are not safe. We have made a law against 'Love Jihad' in UP. But in Bengal, where the state government is indulging in politics of appeasement, neither are there attempts to curb cattle smuggling nor dangerous incidents of 'Love Jihad'," he said.
“In the same way, the state government has been unable to stop cow smuggling and political violence,” he said.
Yogi accused the Mamata government of blocking the central schemes and assured the people that they would celebrate ‘Deepotsav of nationalism’ on May 2, when the Assembly poll results are declared. He is likely to address at least a dozen rallies in Bengal.
His comments drew sharp reactions from the TMC, which said that West Bengal doesn't need sermons on law and order from Yogi Adityanath as his state has recorded the highest number of incidents of crime against women.
Claiming that the raising of 'Jai Shri Ram' slogan is not allowed in West Bengal, Adityanath said that the people of the state will give a befitting reply to the TMC government for "playing with their religious sentiments".
"Jai Shri Ram slogan is not allowed in West Bengal, but people won't allow this to continue. Just see what happened to those who opposed the Ram temple. The people of India don't take any other name other than Ram. Those who are Ram 'drohi' (traitors) do not have a place here," he said.
Adityanath asked the TMC government why it is opposed to 'Ram bhakts' but has a "nexus with forces that bring anarchy in the state".
Claiming that West Bengal, which had once led the nation, is now facing a lawless situation, Adityanath said the state needs a "double engine BJP government" to regain its lost glory.
Several senior TMC leaders were quick to respond to the allegations and said West Bengal did not need sermons from him and rather he should look at the dismal track record of his state.
They also raised the issue of a 50-year-old man who was allegedly shot dead in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras district by an accused out on bail in a case of molestation lodged in 2018 against the victim's daughter.
"Yet ANOTHER Hathras! The count of dreadful incidents being reported from the @BJP4India-ruled UP is unending! The people of UP are suffering as the state of law and order is in shackles, yet @myogiadityanathis in Bengal?? #BJPHataoBetiBachao," TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar said on social media.
"In a poll-bound state, Mr @myogiadityanath comes & spreads misinformation to fool people.
While @BJP4Bengal leaders were spreading Fake News, the family members of the lady informed that she was already suffering from a medical condition resulting in the swelling," she said in a series of tweets.
Elections to the 294-member assembly will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29.
(With PTI Inputs)