Krishnanagar/Barasat/Kolkata (West Bengal), May 7 IANS | 7 months ago

Raising the pitch over his demand 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 successive rallies in Krishnanagar in Nadia district, Barasat in North 24 Parganas and Kankurgachi in Kolkata, Modi accused the Trinamool Congress chief of doing a volte face after expressing concern over the influx of Bangladeshi infiltrators.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader, who has canvassed extensively for his party in Bengal, holding eight rallies criss-crossing the state, flayed Banerjee for the rising number of crimes against women and ridiculed her over the multi-crore Saradha scam.

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

"Didi (Banerjee), 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," Modi said.

Claiming that native Bengalis had to wait for jobs while Bangladeshi infiltrators were getting them on a platter, Modi asked Banerjee to dare the Supreme Court which has observed that the infiltration is aggression against India.

"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. 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 areas bordering Bangladesh.

Modi asserted that he was not against refugees but against those who have infiltrated as a result of vote bank politics.

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

Ridiculing her over the "rope around the waist" remark, Modi said he was himself ready to go to any jail that Banerjee wanted.

"You will float a tender to get the rope and the Saradha scamsters will bid for the tenders, so don't take pains and financially burden Bengal for a rope. I will go to any jail you wish me to go," said Modi.

Taking a further swipe at Banerjee, Modi urged her not to get "too angry" lest she falls ill and flayed her government for the rising graph of crimes against women.

Talking about scams in the state, the 63-year-old BJP leader said the Saradha issue gave electric shocks to Banerjee.

"I don't know why Mamata gets an electric shock whenever I talk about Saradha. You are the chief minister, why do you get angry? I can understand those involved in the scam getting angry at me," said Modi, calling for the arrest of all those involved in the scam and return of the money to the investors.

He also raised the issue of alleged irregularities in the appointment of primary school teachers and said the 'parivartan' (change) that Banerjee had been clamouring to bring in Bengal was visible only in her not her state.

"You have been clamouring for 'parivartan', but unfortunately, the only 'parivartan' that is visible is in you and not in Bengal," Modi added.

(Posted on 07-05-2014)

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