BJP, TMC leaders level allegations counter-allegations as third phase campaign ends in Bengal

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], April 4 (ANI): The fierce campaigning for the third phase of polling in West Bengal ended on Sunday with top leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee making accusations and counter-accusations on the issues of governance.

April 4, 2021

National

6 min

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], April 4 (ANI): The fierce campaigning for the third phase of polling in West Bengal ended on Sunday with top leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee making accusations and counter-accusations on the issues of governance.
A total of 31 assembly constituencies including eight in Hooghly, seven in Howrah and 16 in South 24 Parganas will go to polls in phase-III.
Both the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and BJP have undertaken power-packed rallies and mega roadshows ahead of the third phase. The Samyukt Morcha, the alliance of the Congress, Left Front and the Indian Secular Force (ISF) were found a little backfoot when it comes to fierce campaigning.
Though ruling TMC finds itself strong in these seats, an air of anti-incumbency still can be felt here. While the BJP is targeting the TMC over the issues of corruption in the Amphan relief fund, TMC is banking on its welfare schemes like ‘Duare Sarkar’, ‘Swastho Sathi’ and ‘Kanyashree’ to counter the anti-incumbency wave.
In the mega poll campaigns, it has become a direct tussle between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Striving to prove that “Bangla nijer meyekei chaye” (Bengal wants her daughter), Mamata is playing on the regional cards while calling the BJP as ‘bohiragoto’ (outsider). She tossed the debate of insider versus outsider and spared no stage to launch attacks on the BJP brigade.
Addressing a public meeting in Howrah on Sunday, Mamata said, “Modi is syndicate 1 and Amit Shah is syndicate 2. Gujaratis are trying to capture Bengal by bringing goons from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. We will not allow Bengal to become like Gujarat. BJP tries to create a communal disturbance.”
She also called AIMIM and ISF as proxy of BJP and levelled charges of diving Bengal in terms of religion and caste. “They had been given money by BJP to divide Hindus and Muslims. If you do not want to be divided and do not want the National Register of Citizens (NRC), then do not vote for them. Giving the vote to them (AIMIM and ISF) would mean you gave the vote to BJP,” the TMC supremo had told at a public meeting in Raidighi in the South 24 Parganas district.
Mamata, who is known for walkathons and marches, has introduced a new dimension to her campaigns for the 2021 polls. It is the wheelchair that is serving as her chariot on the battlefield of Bengal. It is pertinent to mention that the chief minister sustained injuries on her feet during campaigning in Nandigram last month.
To topple the ruling TMC in West Bengal, BJP has been aggressively campaigning in the state. The top leadership of the party including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, party president JP Nadda and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are the star campaigners in Bengal.
To counter Mamata’s ‘Modi babu’ jibe, Prime Minister says “Raag keno didi” (why are you angry, Didi?) in his firebrand rallies. He has been attacking the incumbent TMC government with the issues of ‘syndicate raj’, ‘tolabaazi’ (extortion) and corruption. Prime Minister Modi has been promising BJP’s version of ‘Sonar Bangla’ (prosperous Bengal) in his rallies.
Prime Minister Modi addressed rallies in Uluberia in Howrah, Tarakeswar in Hooghly and Sonarpur in South 24 Parganas. Even after the end of polling during the second phase, Nandigram still remained the central point of attacks between BJP and TMC.
Prime Minister at his Sonarpur rally on Saturday had said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s contesting elections from Nandigram is Didi’s biggest mistake as if she loses it will become very difficult for TMC to function as a party.
Taking forward to Mamata’s “Khela Hobe” (game is on) slogan, he said, “TMC’s khela shesh (TMC’s game has ended).”
“Didi, defeat is in front of you. Now accept it. Hear the voice of the people of Hooghly,” Prime Minister Modi had said at his public meeting in Hooghly’s Tarakeswar.
To amplify BJP’s wave in Bengal, it is Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who held tantalising public meetings in Amta in Howrah and Jangipara in Hooghly.
“The kind of hooliganism we are witnessing in Bengal, similar disruption used to happen in Kashmir. Today, in Kashmir, not terrorism but development is on the rise,” said Yogi Adityanath while addressing a public meeting in Hooghly’s Jangipara.
In the constituencies of South 24 Parganas; development, employment and the havoc caused by cyclone Amphan are counted among the key issues. On the other hand, in the constituencies of Howrah and Hooghly, there has been visible development but it is the lack of employment opportunities that haunt the ruling TMC.
Meanwhile, the Left Front, which had its dominion in these areas once, has kept its campaign relatively in low profile while its candidates held door-to-door canvassing.
Polling for the first two phases of the West Bengal polls was held on March 27 and April 1 respectively. The next phase of polling will take place on April 6. The counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)

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