TMC hits back, says his ‘Kangal Bangla’ remark an insult.
Kolkata: Targeting Trinamul Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, BJP president Amit Shah on Monday sought an end to the payment of “nephew tax”, which he claimed had become mandatory for people in West Bengal. Furious over the cancellation of one of his rallies in the state, he also hit out at the West Bengal chief minister over her alleged role in trying to secure her nephew’s victory in the Lok Sabha elections.
Mr Shah even dared Ms Banerjee to arrest him when he leads a roadshow from Shahid Mindar at Esplanade to Swami Vivekananda’s house at Manicktala in north Kolkata Tuesday afternoon. Addressing a campaign rally at Canning in South 24 Parganas, he alleged: “If you want to buy bricks, cement or iron bars, you were forced to pay tax to the syndicates. Earlier, the tax used to go to the syndicates. Now it has been decided in the past one year that the tax must be paid only to the nephew.”
Mr Shah then asked the crowd: “Do you agree with this ‘nephew tax’? Shouldn’t it be removed?” He also attacked Ms Banerjee after his rally at Atghara Math in Madarhat in Baruipur, also in the same district, was cancelled after the landowner’s withdrawal of permission to the police on the grounds that the venue was booked for a Trinamul rally first. While Trinamul and BJP workers clashed with each other, Mr Shah pointed out the venue’s location under Mr Banerjee’s Lok Sabha constituency — Diamond Harbour.
“I had to visit two-three places. I have already come to Joynagar. But the second place fell under the limits of the constituency of Mamataji’s nephew. If I go there, Mamatadi feels scared thinking that her nephew would lose in case the BJP workers get united. That is why she cancelled the permission for my rally there. I have come to tell Mamatadi — the people have decided to defeat the Trinamul in the Lok Sabha polls irrespective of whether you allow a rally or not, and grant permission to speak or not,” he said at another rally in Joynagar in the district.
The BJP president thundered: “Mamata Didi says the ‘Jai Shri Ram’ can’t be chanted in Bengal. But I chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ here. I will go to Kolkata. If you have guts, arrest me.” He also alleged: “Mamata Banerjee has turned Sonar (golden) Bangla into Kangal (beggar) Bangla. She is only interested in protecting infiltrators to secure her votebank. But her votebank won’t be able to save her from imminent defeat.”
Countering Mr Shah, Ms Banerjee hit back: “He is a fathead, half-literate. All they know is how to start a riot. I am willing to lay down my life, but there will be no riot under my watch.” Trinamul Congress MP Derek O’Brien tweeted: “That puke- worthy Shah had the audacity to use the term ‘Kangal Bangla’ today at a rally. The people of Bengal will give him and Modi a fitting reply in Phase 7. That #LowLife insults Bengal.”
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