Siliguri, April 10 IANS | 7 months ago

In a shift from his earlier soft stand on the Trinamool Congress, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Thursday charged the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal with indulging in vote bank politics and betraying people's faith.


The Bharatiya Janata Party leader ridiculed Banerjee, saying the "parivartan" (change) brought by the Trinamool was fake, and stressed the need for a "big masterji" in power in Delhi to bring the Trinamool government back on track.

"When the wave of parivartan came in Bengal, I thought that good days will arrive in the state. But just like the Left ruined Bengal, has there been any change during the Trinamool governance for more than two years?" Modi asked at a rally at Matigara in Siliguri.

"This is because, after coming to power, they slipped into the politics of vote bank. This is the biggest betrayal of the people," he said.

Modi's comments were in sharp contrast to his meeting in Kolkata's Brigade Parade Ground two months back where he said West Bengal would benefit if people voted for the BJP in the general elections while Banerjee continued to usher in development in the state.

"It will be a double bonanza for you. Mamataji here, and me sitting in Delhi. You will have laddoos in both hands," he had told the Feb 5 rally.

While the BJP, eyeing a return to power at the centre after 10 years, was then on the lookout for partners to expand the National Democratic Alliance it leads, during the past two months it has roped in outfits like the Lok Janshakti Party and the Telugu Desam Party.

Besides, Banerjee has also been virulently attacking Modi at every rally, calling him the face of "riots".

Modi Thursday said a powerful government - a "big masterji" - at the centre was the need of the hour.

"If you want to bring it (the Trinamool government) on the right path, you have to put a big masterji in Delhi. If there is a strong, honest and pro-development government at the Centre, then these people, who go astray, will be forced to walk on the right path," he said.

"The West Bengal chief minister will criticise the Congress, Left, but until she criticises Modi 100 times every day, she cannot digest her food. The name of this game is vote bank politics."

He also raised the issue of the Saradha chit fund scam and the Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority scam, which came to light during the Trinamool rule and indirectly refered to the alleged involvement of some of its leaders in the muddle.

Blaming the central and the state governments for destroying the tea industry in the state, Modi said the development of the region was possible through two Ts - tea and tourism.

"My first preference is tea. Had it not been for tea, I would not have been here in front of you. Much like you, I am also a chaiwala," the Gujarat chief minister said.

"We have seen the fake change, it's now time for the real change," said Modi, urging people to vote for the BJP.

Modi also took potshots at the Trinamool, which was born after splitting from the Congress in 1997.

"Those who have the DNA of the Congress in their heart and mind, you have to throw them out also. There are some people who change name of their party, but don't change their ways."

(Posted on 10-04-2014)

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