Kolkata: BJP chief JP Nadda invoked Shyama Prasad Mookerjee on his birth anniversary today to call for a change in government in Bengal — the home state of the late Jan Sangh leader — clearly setting sights on the state elections of 2021. “We have to remove the current government lock, stock and barrel and replace it with a BJP government,” Mr Nadda said at a virtual rally in Bengal, his first.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to address a virtual rally on July 21, a red-letter day on the Trinamool Congress calendar.
Ms Banerjee had dismissed virtual rallies as “too expensive for Trinamool to hold” when BJP chief Amit Shah held his virtual rally on Bengal on June 14, for which the party reportedly set up 70,000 television sets across the state.
Speaking at the virtual rally, Mr Nadda said the BJP cannot allow what he called the “sad state of affairs” in SP Mookerjee’s Bengal and it is the party’s duty to replace the Trinamool government in the state.
“I had never heard about cut money before,” Mr Nadda said, referring to the allegations of a commission being charged by politicians to enable beneficiaries to get government schemes.
“But here, political leaders… they are involved. I say we have to cut these leaders down to size in the coming days.”
Mr Nadda’s attack evoked a lukewarm response from the Trinamool Congress, with senior minister Partha Chatterjee saying, “There is no link between what the BJP is saying and the ground reality.”
When Amit Shah and Nirmala Sitharaman attacked the state government at the virtual rallies of June 14 and 28, Trinamool leaders had rebutted their claims in an organised manner with multi-city, multi-leader press meets.
The BJP chief, through his speech, did not once name either the Trinamool Congress or Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, but his target was unmistakeable.
“Now is the time for us to walk the path of Shyama Prasad and restore the pride of Bengal. We have to bring back that pride. We have to take the state to political heights. We have to improve education in the state. For this, we have to remove the current government lock, stock and barrel and replace it with a BJP government. This is our responsibility. We have to fulfil it,” he said.
The BJP has virtually started its election campaign for Bengal 2021. Ms Banerjee is also expected to share a plan of action with Trinamool supporters on July 21.