Kolkata, Apr 28 UNI | 3 months ago

Trinamool supremo and state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today responded to the baseless allegations and inflammatory comments made by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at a public rally in Serampore yesterday.

She slammed the Gujarat chief minister for trying to divide Bengalis and non-Bengalis.

She said, 'Modi is a devil. He has already presided over riots in his own state and has now turned his attention towards Bengal. He wanted to separate Darjeeling. Now he wants to divide the Hindus and Muslims in the state. My Bihari and Marwari friends have protested against his statement. People will not give him a single vote.'

Accusing the Gujarat CM of being ignorant of history, Ms Banerjee added, 'Bangla is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world. Elsewhere in India, people who speak in Bangla are branded as Bangladeshis. This is discrimination. Bengal was united at one point of time in history. We love and respect our neighbours. The Bangladeshis who migrated to India followed the 1971 Indira-Mujib agreement. You cannot throw out legal immigrants from this country.'

Ms Banerjee added that the person being projected as the next PM is divisive and if he actually becomes the PM, the nation will plunge into darkness.

Countering the claims of development in Gujarat, she said Bengal was doing better than the western state and that growth has actually declined in Gujarat under Mr Modi. "The metric for true development is welfare of the poor. In 100 Days work scheme, we spent Rs 5500 crore for employment generation. Gujarat spent only Rs 500 crore. Revenue earning in Bengal has increased by 31 per cent while in Gujarat it has grown by 15 per cent only."

"Infant mortality rate in Bengal is 31 out of 1000 births. For Gujarat it is 42. When we took over two and a half years ago, 3 crore mandays were lost in Bengal. The figure is nil now. Bank lending to MSME, which is a good reflection of the health of the economy, grew by 106 per cent in Bengal while the growth in this parameter in Gujarat was only 34 per cent. We have provided toilets in 92 per cent schools in Bengal," she added.

"We do not need advise on development from the architects of riots. He has no right to be in politics," the Chief Minister added.

(Posted on 28-04-2014)