Trinamool Congress – the ruling party in West Bengal – reacted sharply to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Amit Shah seeking to wrest power in the state. In a virtual rally on Tuesday, Shah appealed to the electorate in Bengal to bring the party to power in the state in the Assembly elections of 2021. “You have given a chance to the Comminists and Trinamool. Now give a chance to Narendra Modi and the BJP,” he said earlier in the day.
Trinamool Congress reacted on its official Twitter handle – posting a picture of Mamata Banerjee in which she is seen unveiling a new bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in June 2019 – and wrote: “@AmitShah, someone who’s himself put the inclusivity of India in danger, talks about ‘restoring’ the culture of #Bengal. Doesn’t he remember, it was @MamataOfficial who restored statue of Vidya Sagar, vandalised by his men in front of his own eyes. #BengalRejectsAmitShah”
In June 2019, Mamata Banerjee had unveiled a new bust of 19th century reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar after it was smashed in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, during a roadshow of Amit Shah in May. A BJP worker was arrested and charged with vandalising the statue. The BJP however, has denied the party’s involvement in the incident.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee took to Twitter to criticise Amit Shah and his statements. Abhishek Banerjee wrote: “As usual the speech of @AmitShah Ji was all rhetoric and no substance. Nonetheless since he has talked about his dream of seeing ‘EXIT’ of TMC, I would like to ask him one more time – ‘When are the Chinese EXITING our territory’”.
The very concept of a virtual rally has been criticised by Trinamool Congress leaders – when the state and the country are reeling under the COVID-19 crisis. Senior leader Partha Chatterjee wrote: “@BJP4Bengal leaders have made no contribution towards improving lives of people in Bengal but have definitely started preparing for Bengal elections 2021. Priorities are clear…”
Senior leader and minister Rajib Banerjee wrote: “As usual @BJP4India and @BJP4Bengal have their priorities set only on votes and upcoming Bengal elections. After pushing the entire country into the dark ages, they are busy conducting party campaigns. Shameful to say the least. #BanglarShotruBJP”