Meetings banned due to COVID-19, Amit Shah appeals to Bengal voters in “virtual rally” to bring the BJP to power in 2021

Union Home Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Amit Shah – in a virtual rally on Tuesday – appealed to the people in West Bengal to bring the party to power in the state in 2021. “You have given a chance to the Comminists and Trinamool. Now give a chance to Narendra Modi and the BJP,” he said.

Bengal goes to the polls in 2021, scheduled less than a year from now – and with Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) affecting 9,987 persons in the last 24 hours nationally and 426 persons affected from Bengal, rallies and meetings are ruled out for now. Under this backdrop, Shah appealed to the people of West Bengal to bring the BJP to power in the coming Assembly elections – “as you have seen both the Communists and the Trinamool Congress”. This is the third of the virtual rallies the BJP is organising to reach out to the electorate due to the COVID-19 crisis, among 75 more scheduled in the coming days.

Shah said that the country had done well in handling the COVID-19 crisis led by PM Narendra Modi, but Mamata Banerjee referring to the Shramik Express trains as “Corona Express” will lead the Trinamool Congress out of Bengal. “Migrant workers were moving from one part of the country to another, but Bengal took the lowest number of trains among the states and insulted the workers by calling the trains ‘Corona Express’. Migrant workers won’t forget the insult and this train will pave the way for the Trinamool Congress’ exit,” Shah said.

Shah added that Bengal used to be the highest contributor to the country’s GDP at one point and the people eventually ousted the Communists to due to lack of growth. “People brought in parivartan, but now they are saying that the Communists were better than this party,” he said. Shah added that instead of handling the Amphan and COVID-19 situation, Banerjee was saying that if the state was not successful, the Centre should handle it. “I want to tell Mamata-didi, that your wish will soon be fulfilled,” Shah said.

He added that the ruling party’s corruption and their leaders and supporters siphoning off money had led to the current situation in Bengal. He also said that Bengal is the only state where political violence was taking place. “You can stop our MPs and MLAs from reaching out to people, you can stop our rallies, but you cannot stop ‘virtual’ rallies, can you?” Shah asked.

He said that no matter how many seats the BJP may have won nationally, to him the most important seats were the 18 out of 42 Parliamentary seats from Bengal. “We are not those who want to come to power, and when we do and things go wrong, we just blame the Centre,” Shah said without naming the Trinamool Congress.

Blaming the ruling party in Bengal for not allowing Central government schemes to be implemented “for fear that Narendra Modi might become more popular”, Shah said that projects like Ayushman Bharat, Pradhan Matri Awas Yojana and other schemes could not be implemented in the state due to the state government’s non-cooperation. He said that the state should send them a list of farmers from Bengal, and each will get Rs 6,000 in their accounts within a couple of days.

Shah reminded the people of Bengal about some of his party’s focus areas – such as the Ram Mandir, triple talaq, implementing Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and abrogation of the special status in Kashmir etc., and also asked why Mamata Banerjee was opposing the CAA.

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