BJP says will turn Bengal into Gujarat if voted in, TMC calls it ‘riot politics’

The remarks from Ghosh drew sharp criticism from the ruling Trinamool Congress.

A WAR of words erupted between the TMC and the BJP on Monday after the state president of the BJP said his party would work towards “turning West Bengal into Gujarat” once it comes to power in the state.

Referring to the erstwhile Left Front rule in the state and its leaders, Ghosh said, “Leaders such as Biman Bose, Buddhababu (former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee) made sure that people here do not become doctors, engineers but migrant labourers who seek jobs in Gujarat. We want to turn Bengal into Gujarat once we form a government here. Didi (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) often accuses us of trying to turn West Bengal into Gujarat.

Yes, absolutely. We will turn Bengal into Gujarat so that our children get jobs here and do not have to migrate to Gujarat,” the BJP leader said after interacting with local residents at Barasat in North 24 Parganas district.

The remarks from Ghosh drew sharp criticism from the ruling Trinamool Congress.

Senior TMC leader and state minister Firhad Hakim urged the BJP MP to leave Bengal and settle down in Gujarat.

“Around 2,000 people were killed in the Gujarat riots in 2002. If we turn Bengal into Gujarat then people will fear of dying in encounters. Therefore, we do not want to turn Bengal into Gujarat. This is Rabindranath Tagore’s Bengal, Nazrul’s Bengal. People need to decide whether to retain Bengal’s cultural heritage or inherit riot politics from Gujarat,” said Hakim.

The TMC leader went on to say that only Adanis and Ambanis have been given priority in Gujarat while others had to shut down their business.

“Even Nano factory (Tata Motors) has been shut there. Communal divide can never help an economy to flourish. The country’s economy has crashed so badly that we are lagging behind Bangladesh in GDP. This is our shame. Dilip Ghosh can leave for Gujarat. People of the state are happy here,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ghosh said his party will defeat TMC’s North 24 Parganas district president and state minister Jyotipriya Mullick in next year’s Assembly polls. “He has fooled the people of the state and took cut money from them. He is involved in multiple scams including the PDS scam. Enough is enough. I am throwing a open challenge to him that we will defeat him. Ask him to pick any Assembly segment in the state. We will defeat him from wherever he contests the election,” said Ghosh.

Mullick was quick to hit back, saying the BJP would draw a blank in North 24 Parganas district in 2021. “The result will be 33-0. The BJP will get a big zero from North 24 Parganas district. Tell Dilip Ghosh to prepare for his party’s biggest defeat in 2021,” said Mullick.

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