Raking up Centre’s “discrimination” against non-Congress states, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday sought to reach out to his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee expressing confidence in her government’s efforts to set right the “ruin” of the Left Front government.
In a speech to businessmen, Modi, widely seen as the Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP in the next general elections, appeared to woo Trinamool Congress which was once a BJP ally and is seen as a potential friend in the coming days. “What you see in Gujarat is a result of 12-13 years of hard work, not of one or two years. Congress had created such potholes that it took me so much time to fill them.
“In West Bengal, the Left government created these potholes for 32 years. I don’t know how many years of efforts it will take before they are filled. “I believe efforts are being made to fill these potholes and I am confident that the dreams of the people will be fulfilled,” Modi said.
Outside the venue of his address, the Merchants Chamber of Commerce, Maoist sympathisers held protests against Modi’s visit accusing him of representing communal forces and he had no no right to come to Kolkata.
The BJP needs more allies to strengthen NDA and TMC is said to be on its radar especially after it broke off from the Congress-led UPA. But with Muslims forming a sizable 24 per cent of the West Bengal population, Banerjee is reportedly apprehensive about a tie-up with BJP, more so if Modi, who has the image of a Hindu hardliner, is the party’s face in the Lok Sabha polls.
Modi used another issue to woo Banerjee by raking up the issue of ‘discrimination’ against non-Congress ruled states and maintained that the Centre was trying to demolish the federal structure.
Cong sees secret BJP-TMC nexus
Kolkata/New Delhi (PTI): Questioning Narendra Modi’s ‘certificate’ to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Congress on Tuesday wondered if there was a secret “nexus” between the Trinamool Congress and its former ally BJP.
The party pointed to Banerjee “good relations” with the BJP in past and hinted that her arriving in Delhi the same day Modi addressed a meeting in Kolkata could be by “design”. “What is the actual purpose of Modi’s visit to Kolkata and why is Mamata Banerjee away? Whatever it may be, we feel there is a nexus between the two parties,” WBPCC President Pradip Bhattacharya said in Kolkata.
AICC in-charge Shakeel Ahmed said it was Banerjee or Modi “to explain whether they are coming close or not.”