‘Defamed soil of Bengal’: PM Modi launches scathing attack against Mamata Banerjee

Churabhandar, West Bengal: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched a scathing attack on the Mamata Banerjee government, claiming it had defamed the soil of West Bengal and rendered its people helpless.

Addressing a well-attended BJP rally here in North Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district, Modi said it was an “extortionist syndicate” and not ‘Didi’, as Banerjee is fondly called, that was running the state.

“Those who got power in Bengal in the name of ‘Maa, Maati, Manush’ after unseating the Left have also adopted the culture of violence. They have defamed the soil of Bengal and rendered its people helpless,” Modi said attacking TMC government.

“The people of Bengal voted for Didi to get rid of the violence of the communists. But the new government is following the same model of violence against its opponents…TMC government has become communist part-two,” PM Modi added.

PM Modi’s sharp attack at Banerjee comes at a time when the Centre and the West Bengal government are engaged in a bitter face-off over action by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar on Sunday in connection with chit fund scam cases.

Banerjee had staged a three-day sit-in protesting the CBI action calling it a “misuse of central agencies” against political opponents by the Modi government. The political fight between the BJP-led government and the TMC escalated after Banerjee held a ‘United India’ rally in January in Kolkata, where leaders from 23 opposition parties including the Congress shared the stage.

The prime minister responded to the charge leveled by Banerjee with a counter-attack. He said, “It is unprecedented that a chief minister sits on dharna to protect a person facing allegations of corruption.”

“This chowkidar will spare neither the perpetrators of chit fund scams nor those protecting them,” he asserted. PM Modi’s comment has come a day ahead of Kumar’s scheduled before the CBI team in the Saradha chit fund scam case. The CBI will question Kumar in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong. The Supreme Court, earlier this week, directed Kumar to appear before the CBI at the “neutral” place.

Banerjee’s TMC had defeated the Left Front government in West Bengal in 2011 ending more than three-decade rule of the coalition in the state. The TMC was re-elected in 2016 state elections.