Krishnanagar (West Bengal), May 7 IANS | 4 months ago

Defending his call for packing off Bangladeshi infiltrators, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Wednesday continued his attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, accusing her of "growing blind in the lust for power".


Addressing Banerjee as "didi" (elder sister), Modi wondered why the Trinamool Congress chief, who had expressed concern in 2005 about the rising Bangladeshi infiltration, was now speaking in their favour.

"Didi, it was you who in 2005 had thrown papers at the (deputy) speaker in parliament and shouted how Bangladeshi infiltrators were destroying Bengal and wanted them to be driven out. What Modi is saying today you had said in 2005," the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said at an election rally in Krishnanagar in Nadia district.

Claiming that Bengal natives had to loiter around for jobs while Bangladeshi infiltrators were getting it on a platter, Modi asked Banerjee to dare the Supreme Court which has observed the infiltration as aggression on India.

"Nowadays, didi is very angry. I have no qualms in declaring that the infiltrators should be stopped, but didi, if you have the guts, then criticise the Supreme Court which said infiltration was aggression on India."

"What made you turn against Bengal? You have grown blind in the lust for power," he added.

"You used to fight for the people, get bloodied for the people because you had love for the people of Bengal. We used to be proud of you for your fight for the common man. But how did you change, you are now fighting for the chair," Modi said.

The BJP leader also did not spare the Left Front over the issue, invoking then union home minister and Communist Party of India leader Indrajit Gupta who had expressed concern in 1997 over the growing number of Bangladeshi infiltrators.

Modi also recalled how CPI-M politburo member Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee as chief minister had expressed concern over the activities of madrassas in the border areas with Bangladesh.

Asserting that he was not against refugees but against those who have infiltrated as a result of vote bank politics, Modi questioned why the Matua community - primarily low caste Hindu refugees from Bangladesh who are members of the Matua Mahasangh - despite living in West Bengal for years were not getting citizenship.

"Those who are refugees, it is the entire country's duty to give them shelter, but the infiltrators, those who have been intentionally brought in for vote bank, they will have to go. Not because Modi is saying so but because the Supreme Court has said."

"Didi, you are ready to send me to jail for the sake of Bangladeshis, but I want to ask why the Matua community people are not considered Indian citizens?" asked Modi.

The BJP leader promised the community that he would personally hear their grievances and find a solution.

Both the BJP and Trinamool have been engrossed in a bitter political bickering over the infiltrator issue, with Banerjee demanding Modi be "dragged to the jail with a rope around his waist".

The Trinamool has also approached the Election Commission accusing Modi of violating the Model Code of Conduct by inciting communal tension.

Modi also took a jibe at Banerjee, saying she was "hassled these days" and questioned why Bengal was leading the country in terms of crimes against women.

"These days, didi is getting very angry, getting hassled... the doctors should ensure she doesn't fall ill. Three years ago, you had good days and now there will be good days for the BJP. So don't get hassled, didi," said Modi, as he asserted the BJP will storm to power in the country.

(Posted on 07-05-2014)