Kolkata: Even as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been targeting the saffron brigade on a range of issues, BJP national President Amit Shah on Wednesday refrained from taking on the Trinamool supremo here.
On his maiden visit to the city after the West Bengal assembly polls, Shah, in his nearly 40-minute address to party workers, spoke mostly about the development works initiated by the BJP governments at the Centre and in several states, and urged them to prepare for the 2018 rural polls in the state and the subsequent Lok Sabha polls.
He also exhorted the people to elect the BJP to power in the state.
While Shah is known for his sharp attacks on Mamata, and the party workers had hoped for some caustic barbs, on Wednesday the BJP chief harped mostly on development.
“The biggest difference between a BJP government and that by the Congress, Communists or the Trinamool is that we work for the people, we bring development. That is why, in whichever state BJP has come to power, nobody has been able to uproot us,” said Shah who went on to enumerate a host of schemes by the Narendra Modi government to buttress his claims.
“There is no scope for the party workers to rest until BJP comes to power in Bengal. We have the maximum number of MPs, MLAs and chief ministers. We are the largest party in the country, but that is not complete until we come to power in Bengal and Kerala,” Shah asserted.
“Infiltration of Bangladeshis will stop only if BJP comes to power in Bengal,” said Shah, who had earlier accused Mamata of compromising national security by allowing Bangladeshis to infiltrate in the state.
He also said the GST Bill held significance for Bengal as it will initiate new economic reforms in the country.
After coming to power in the state for the second consecutive term, the Trinamool chief had asserted that despite the party’s “ideological differences” with the BJP, it will cooperate with the Modi government on the passage of the long-pending GST Bill.
Shah also ridiculed former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over his foreign visits.
“People criticise Narendra Modi’s foreign visits but it was Manmohan Singh who undertook more foreign visits. People think Modi had travelled more because no one noticed when Singh went for his visits.
“Singh carried written speeches, read them and came back. Often those speeches would get interchanged and he would end up of reading speech meant for Indonesia in Malaysia and that of Malaysia in Indonesia,” added Shah.