BJP President Amit Shah on Tuesday accused West Bengal’s Trinamool Congress government of misusing central funds, and slammed it for unleashing “unprecedented violence” on his party activists, but kept mum on Saradha and Narada scams on day two of his second trip to the state in five months.
Shah, who met victims of alleged political atrocities and then interacted with intellectuals during the day, took a dig at “human rights champions”, and asked them to report the ‘violence’ in several parts of the eastern state, where the BJP is going all out to increase its political weight.
“I would like to appeal to human rights champions across the world, that whenever and wherever something happens, for hours the voice of human rights (activists) are heard. They should take some time out, and report the political violence in Kolkata, Basirhat and Birbhum,” Shah told media persons here after meeting the victims.
Describing the scale of violence as “unmatched” in the world, the Bharatiya Janata Party chief said his party leaders and workers were being murdered, “their limbs were being broken, and their houses and shops set on fire… only because Trinamool disagrees with their political beliefs”.
“I would like to ask people across Bengal, is this (Rabindranath) Tagore and (Swami) Vivekananda’s Bengal? Can’t anybody follow his political beliefs? And if he does, should he be killed?”
He said even a six-year-old child had to take bullet on the stomach.
“The doctor hasn’t been able to extricate the bullet, he is also afraid.”
Shah said Bengal cannot usher in development when there is so much political violence, but exuded confidence that BJP cadres would strongly face up to the atrocities, and none could halt the party’s growth in Bengal.
Later, addressing intellectuals, Shah highlighted the “good work” done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government at the centre, and regretted that despite generous allotments of funds, the state government has failed to ensure development and progress.
“The BJP government has done a lot for Bengal. The grant to the state has been increased from Rs 1,32,783 crore during the time of Congress at the centre to Rs 3,59,406 crore under the Narendra Modi government. We have been sending the grant but I want to ask Mamata Banerjee (about) who would give an answer about where the money has gone?” he asked.
“Mamata Banerjee has to answer what happened to all the money. Why hasn’t Bengal progressed in employment, literacy, industrial development or in supply of pure drinking water. All the money is being eaten up by the syndicate,” he alleged.
Claiming that the BJP has successfully ended politics of religion, appeasement and dynasty from the country, Shah claimed Bengal is still an exception with the Trinamool government pampering a particular community.
He referred to the state government’s decision barring Durga Puja immersion for a day due to Muharram rallies, and said it is ‘sad’ that the Hindus are being stopped from observing their own rituals.
But Shah did not utter a single word on the multi billion rupee Saradha chit fund scam and the Narada sting footage, despite several Trinamool leaders being under the CBI scanner on both the graft cases.
The Left Front interpreted Shah’s silence as yet another evidence of “match fixing” between the BJP and the Trinamool.
“Circumstances have proved the covert alliance between Modi and Mamata. This is another example of match fixing between them,” said LF legislature party leader Sujan Chakraborty.
Ridiculing Shah, the Trinamool accused the BJP of spreading corruption in the states.
“During notebandi (demonetisation), BJP stacked up cash and bought land in different places. They are totally corrupt. They have spread corruption in every state” said Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee.
“Why did the centre stop sending money to Bengal? And is he the country’s finance minister?” he asked.
He also accused the ruling party at the centre of getting involved in violence, and referred to the recent clashes in BJP-ruled Haryana after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction on rape charges.