With eye on Bengal 2021 polls, Amit Shah says it’s time to ‘uproot’ Mamata Banerjee, ‘nephewism’

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KOLKATA: Alleging that the Trinamool Congress slogan of “ma, mati, manush” (mother, motherland and people) coined by Mamata Banerjee had now become “tolbaji , tushtikaran and bhaipobad” (extortion, appeasement and nephewism), Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday called for “uprooting” the West Bengal chief minister from the state.

“You do not care about the crores of youth living in Bengal, you only care about your nephew.

“You are thinking when will I introduce my nephew as the chief minister of Bengal. The beginning of your end has started and you will find yourself alone before the upcoming Assembly elections,” Shah said at a rally in Midnapore. He claimed the BJP win more than 200 seats out of the 294 in next year’s elections. The reference to the nephew is Abhishek Banerjee, who Mamata is allegedly promoting.

While handing over the party’s flag to Suvendu Adhikari, Mamata’s once-trusted lieutenant who joined the BJP at the rally, Shah said this was just the beginning as more would leave the Trinamool and Mamata would soon find herself alone in the party. Other than Adhikari, nine MLAs, one MP, 15 councillors, 45 civic body chairmen and two zilla parishad chiefs also joined the saffron party. Among the MLAs are six from the Trinamool, two Left Front and one from the Congress.

The parliamentarian is Sunil Mandal, the Trinamool’s sitting MP from East Burdwan. Referring to Mamata’s allegation of poaching, Shah said: “What was your original party? Was it the TMC? Didn’t you poach the Congress?” Hitting out at the alleged corruption, Shah said Bengal had become a state for extortion and a refuge of hooligans. “No development took place in the past 10 years. The Centre’s Amphan relief fund has been siphoned off by TMC goons.

Foodgrain sent by the Centre was looted by your party cadres. You should feel ashamed,” he said. Referring to the attack on BJP national president J P Nadda’s motorcade on December 10, Shah said his party was not scared of it. “More than 300 of our party workers have been killed. The more you will show violence, the more we will gather strength to fight,” he said. After receiving a warm reception by Shah, Adhikari termed the home minister as his elder brother and, without naming Abhishek Banerjee, attacked the Trinamool chief.

He raised the slogan “tolabaj bhaipo hatao” (reject the extortionist nephew). He also said his ties with Shah began in 2014 when they met in an office. Sources in the Trinamool Congress said Adhikari expressed his discontent on many occasions as he wanted to be the face of the party after Mamata Banerjee but she was not ready to give him the space in the hierarchy.

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