Taking West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee head on, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi accused her of playing vote bank politics and said no real 'parivartan' (change) has taken place in the state during the Trinamool Congress’ rule.
"When the government changed in Bengal, I thought there would be development. But nothing has happened. They are only indulging in vote bank politics," Modi told an election rally in Siliguri. "Unless she criticises Modi, her food does not get digested," Modi said in a sharp attack attack on Banerjee, who has been hitting out at him in most of her public rallies, terming him communal and also blaming him for the Gujarat riots.
Modi's address was in contrast to his earlier speech in Kolkata in February when he had gone soft on Banerjee and had even asked the people to have "Didi in Bengal and BJP in Delhi".
"It's been two years since the new government took charge, but have you seen any parivartan? People have been cheated. If you have a strong and progressive-minded government in Delhi, every small thing will fall in place," he said.
"You have seen fake parivartan, now it's time to see the real parivartan," Modi said. "Mukyamantriji, aap jitne kichar uchaloge, utna jyada kamal khilega (Madam Chief Minister, the more you indulge in mudslinging, the more will the lotus bloom)," Modi said.
Modi also criticised the party on the issue of multicrore Saradha chitfund scam, and said "they must be punished. "Those who have indulged in loot in such a short span of time, what will they do if they get more time and opportunity?" he asked in an indirect reference to allegations of involvement of some Trinamool Congress leaders in the scam.
Modi asked the people not to let the Congress open its account in Bengal this time and give the BJP a chance to transform the state with "real development".
"You have given 60 years to the Congress (at the Centre). Give us 60 months and we will provide real development for Bengal," he said. Turning to the Darjeeling Lok Sabha constituency from where the lone BJP candidate Jaswant Singh had won in 2009 with the support of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, he said, "There must be policy for the development of that area and this can come through tea and tourism which have to be taken in earnest."
S S Ahluwalia is contesting as the BJP candidate from Darjeeling seat this time with the support of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. GJM supremo Bimal Gurung was present at the meeting along with BJP candidates from Darjeeling, Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri, for whom the GJM has expressed support.