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"Competing for appeasement, vote bank”: PM Modi blasts TMC, Cong in Malda

Malda: Tearing into the ruling Trinamool Congress and the erstwhile Left Front government in the state for putting the brakes on development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said they wrecked the greatness, global image and the dignity of Bengal under their rule.

Twisting the knife into the ruling TMC, which is under the spotlight again over alleged irregularities in appointments for teaching posts after the Calcutta High Court recently annulled over 25,753 such recruitments in the state, PM Modi said only 'scams' were flourishing in Bengal under the Mamata government. 

Addressing a massive rally in Malda district, which is home to majority Muslim voters, PM Modi said, "There was a time when Bengal was the engine of the country's development and progress. Be it social reforms, scientific advancements, as well as philosophical and spiritual thinking and awakening, Bengal led the way. However, the Left Front and the present TMC regime robbed Bengal of its greatness on the global stage and lowered its dignity and prestige in the eyes of the world. Only scams worth thousands of crores are flourishing in Bengal under TMC rule."

On the Calcutta High Order cancelling all appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff made by the 2016 School Service Commission (SSC) panel, PM Modi said the TMC played with the future of Bengal's youth. 

Laying into the TMC over the verdict, which it has challenged in the Supreme Court, he said, "Not a brick is laid in Bengal without money changing hands. Corruption has become synonymous with the state. They (TMC) did not even spare farmers. They played with the future of the state's youth and have now rendered 26,000 families jobless. They are facing the burden of unpaid loans that they took to pay the TMC in exchange for these jobs."

He said the ruling TMC and the Congress, which are partners in the INDIA bloc but are contesting the ongoing Lok Sabha separately in the state, are competing with each other in their 'appeasement' politics and attempts to woo a 'certain' community.

"The Congress wants to grab your properties and the TMC hasn't spoken a single word against it. They are competing with each other for appeasement and attempts to win over a certain community or vote bank. While the TMC government has worked to grant permanent residency to infiltrators from Bangladesh, the Congress is talking about redistributing your assets among a certain vote bank," PM Modi added. 

"The only glue that holds the TMC and the Congress together is appeasement. These parties can go to any lengths to advance their appeasement politics and reverse any decision taken in the national interest," he added. 

Also accusing the TMC of reserving silence on the Congress' alleged advocacy of a wealth survey, PM Modi said, "The INDIA bloc wants to do an X-ray on your wealth. The Congress' Shehzada (Rahul Gandhi) will do the X-ray and grab whatever land, gold, assets, and wealth that you hold. The Congress will snatch all your valuables and possessions away and give them to their preferred vote bank. The TMC is silent on this. They are competing for appeasement, it seems. The Congress will seize 55 per cent of your properties and assets and redistribute them to their favourite vote bank."

Amid a verbal assault from PM Modi over its alleged wealth survey and redistribution pitch, the Congress has clarified that neither did it make any promise in its manifesto nor did Rahul Gandhi make any such assurance to voters. 

Amid the political uproar around the wealth survey claim, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said his party was in favour of a "comprehensive socio-economic caste census.

Senior party colleague and Lok Sabha candidate, Shashi Tharoor, too, waded into the matter, saying there was no mention of wealth redistribution in the Congress manifesto, adding that it was a desperate attempt by the BJP to divert public attention from the burning bread-and-butter issues affecting the people.

"Nowhere does it (manifesto) talk about wealth redistribution. Nowhere does it say anything about taking anybody's gold and snatching the mangalsutra of women. These are preposterous claims by the BJP and show their desperation. They know that they are losing these elections and will fling muck at us as much as they can," Tharoor said.

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