West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “syndicate” and “tolabaazi” (extortion) remarks, saying that the country only knows about one syndicate – Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.
“What syndicate? India knows only one syndicate. That is Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. There is no other syndicate. Only one syndicate is working in India. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. No one even listens to the BJP,” the Chief Minister said at an event in Siliguri district.
Addressing a rally in Hooghly last month, the Prime Minister had said that Bengal’s development was not possible until the syndicate rule and “tolabaji (extortion)” continue to persist.
Ms Banerjee made her remarks in a speech after a foot march from Darjeeling More to Venus More in Siliguri, called to protest against the rising prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.
Thousands of women marched with Mamata Banerjee with cutouts of gas cylinders to protest.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by candidates from North Bengal, ministers and the TMC’s star MPs, Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s call for “ashol poriborton” (real change) Mamata Banerjee said, “You make big speeches, and come and say Banglay Poriborton Hobey (Change will happen in Bengal). There will be no poriborton here. Trinamool Congress will retain power in Bengal. Poriborton will happen in Delhi. You will have to leave.”
Responding to the PM’s corruption charge, Mamata Banerjee accused the centre of selling everything including “Red Fort and Taj Mahal.”
“They have sold everything. They have sold the Red Fort. May be even the Taj Mahal. They sold Indian Railways, Coal India, Defence, Air India. What is left? Only renaming the country after you awaits. The rest is done,” the Chief Minister said.
Responding to the PM’s “tolaabaazi” (extortion) jibe, Mamata Banerjee said, “You keep coming to Bengal and saying tolaabaazi. You are the biggest tolaabaaz. If a poor man does it it’s ~CHECK~5, ~CHECK~10 or ~CHECK~500. What about when it comes to you? You have an Adani friend. How much tolaabaazi for selling railways? How much tolaabaazi for selling SAIL?
“How much tolaabaazi for selling Air India? How much tolaabaazi for selling Coal India? Ujjwala scheme! Where is Ujjwala? Where is the shine of Ujjwala? Even a CAG report mentions a scandal in Ujjwala. Everything was eaten up. There was malpractice. Not only tolaabaazi, crores and crores of rupees were eaten up.”
Referring to the BJP’s promise of Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal) Mamata Banerjee said, “Have they given you a “Golden India?” Are you getting Kerosene? Have kerosene prices gone up? Have gas prices gone up? Have petrol prices gone up? Have diesel prices gone up? Banks are being sold and Modi is only growing. Mummy, the kitchens are on fire but so what? I am growing. “Tolaabaazi” is increasing. Business is increasing, corruption is increasing. The country is being sold.”
In a comment targeted to voters of North Bengal, Mamata Banerjee said, “I love and respect the PM of Bangladesh. But there is a state government here too. You cannot suddenly sell out my state. It’s not so cheap. Teesta is a part of North Bengal, it’s a part of Bengal. You should remember this.
“While the PM said “Khela Shesh” which means game over, in reference to the TMC’s “Khela Hobey” (Game On) slogan, Mamata Banerjee responded with, “If you are capable, tell me when you want to do it. Khela Hobey (Game On). You can fix the date and time. The public will watch. Before the Bengal election, have a one to one with Mamata Banerjee. One to one. We will see who can play how much in the match. We will play (Khela Hobey), we will see (Dekha Hobey), we will win. (Jeyta Hobey). We will fight. We will win. We will defeat Modi. We will remove the BJP.”