Amit Shah kickstarts Assembly election campaign in Bengal with a scathing attack on Mamata Banerjee and predicting a sweep for the BJP

Published : November 07, 2020 10:36 IST

Union Home Minister Amit Shah flashes a victory sign during his visit to Dakshineswar Kali Temple in Kolkata on November 6. Photo: Ashok Bhaumik/PTI

Union Home Minister Amit Shah kickstarted the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) campaign for the 2021 Assembly elections in West Bengal with a scathing attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “Appeasement has reached such a level in the State that it appears there are three laws in West Bengal—one for her nephew [alluding to Abhishek Banerjee, Lok Sabha MP and Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and heir apparent to party leadership], one for her vote bank and one for the general public…. I am sure you know what I mean by vote bank,” said Shah, addressing a press conference on the conclusion of his two-day visit to the State on November 6.

Amit Shah said that he was certain that his party would win more than 200 seats (out of 294) and appealed to the people of the State to give the BJP a chance in the coming elections. “The last time when I said that we will be winning 22 Lok Sabha seats [out of a total of 42] I remember many of you [the media] were smiling. I am glad none of you are smiling today [BJP had won 18 Lok Sabha seats]. It is now my turn to smile. The BJP will be winning more than 200 seats and forming the government here. Trinamool’s rule is ending,” he said. According to him, the basis for his prediction was the BJP’s success in spreading its organisation to every booth and the public resentment against the State government and the ruling party.

He tore into the Trinamool Congress government, alleging that Mamata Banerjee had “completely” politicised the administration, criminalised politics, and institutionalised corruption in Bengal. “If any one of these factors was present in any other State, the government would have fallen; but in Bengal all three factors are at work together,” he said. Raising the issue of law and order in the State, the Union Home Minister said: “I want to ask Mamata didi a straight question: Why have you not been sending the record of crimes committed in the State to the National Crime Records Bureau after 2018? What are you trying to hide and why are you trying to hide it? The whole country wants to know what the law and order situation is like in Bengal.”

Reacting to Amit Shah’s allegations and prediction of the election outcome, Trinamool Congress came out with a statement: “Mr Amit Shah visited Bengal again with his baggage of lies. His mission to defame and insult Bengal continues…. And why does he always make wild, personal accusations against Mamata Banerjee, especially when there is no basis? …As far as his pronouncement of getting 200 seats in Bengal, people have seen before how his predictions are! In the previous elections of Bihar in 2015, Delhi in 2015, and 2020, Gujarat, Rajashtan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh his predictions, his numbers were all totally wrong.”

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