MANIKCHAK: BJP president J P Nadda on Sunday slammed Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her persistent attacks on the Centre over the prevailing COVID-19 situation, and sought to know why she chose to skip a virtual meeting where Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed ways to combat the disease.
He contended that the TMC supremo’s “anxiety has grown manifold”, after having seen the support that is pouring in for the BJP, and the ruling party, for that reason, has “resorted to attacks on saffron party men”.
Addressing a virtual meeting from Delhi in support of BJP candidate from Malda’s Manikchak seat, where polling is scheduled to be held on April 29, Nadda said, “Why didn’t you (Banerjee) attend meetings convened by the prime minister on COVID-19, is it because of your huge ego?” Modi has also accused Banerjee of not attending meetings called by the Centre on various issues, including the COVID-19 management.
Banerjee, on the other hand, has claimed that she was not invited to a meeting chaired by the PM a few days ago to discuss modalities to tackle the pandemic.
Nadda said that the chief minister, who also holds the health portfolio, “claimed that vaccines are not available in Bengal, having forgotten that she deprived the people of the state of many essential facilities over the last 10 years”.
“If vaccines are not available, how are you (Banerjee) sending updates on the number of doses administered every day to the Union Health ministry?” Nadda stated.
He further said that members of a central team sent by the Union government to West Bengal last year to review the coronavirus situation were prevented from working freely by the Banerjee-led administration.
The BJP president hit out at the TMC dispensation, and said the party’s top leaders, fearing that they might lose elections, have “let loose goons to intimidate voters”.
“Mamata ji claims she is the daughter of the state, but it is under her rule that Sobha Majumdar (a BJP worker’s mother) had to sacrifice her life trying to save her son from goons,” he said, referring to an incident of violence at Nimta in the northern suburbs of the metropolis.
Asserting that the lawless in Bengal has reached its nadir under the TMC rule, Nadda alleged that the CM has stopped sending crime records of the state to NCRB to “mask the real situation”.
Bengal tops the chart when it comes to crimes against women, including rapes, he claimed, insisting that a BJP government will ensure women’s security in the state.
“Extortion rackets, appeasement policies and dictatorship rule the roost in Bengal under the TMC rule,” he said.
The senior BJP leader, virtually speaking to voters in Burdwan, alleged that Bengal has turned into a backward state under the TMC dispensation “Mamata Banerjee has taken the state back 10 years during her rule,” he said.
Addressing another virtual meeting for the electorate of Belgachia in north Kolkata, Nadda claimed that TMC workers have earned the sobriquet of “chal chor” (rice thief) during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020 for diverting free ration provided by the Centre.
“But this time, the free ration announced by the prime minister for May and June will be distributed properly under a BJP government with a son of the soil in the chief minister’s seat,” he said.
The BJP chief also said Banerjee insulted the culture of Bengal by hurling abuses at the prime minister, Nadda and other senior BJP leaders during her recent speeches.