The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is free to visit the state for the BJP’s election campaign “20 times or more” to see for himself the development under the Trinamool government and compare it to that of the states ruled by the BJP.
West Bengal minister and party spokesman, Bratya Basu, told reporters that PM Modi is welcome to attend as many meetings as he wishes to and come to the state as many times, he wants to see for himself how Bengal has left behind states like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh on development parameters.
Mr Basu was replying to a query whether the eight-phase assembly polls in the state, beginning on March 27, would enable BJP heavyweights to address multiple meetings in different parts of the state.
“We don’t bother. Maybe they (Narendra Modi and Amit Shah) want to see for themselves how much Bengal has progressed after Trinamool came to power in 2011…how roads look like, how power cut has become a rarity, how people in rural areas are getting better amenities and how states like UP and MP are lagging behind,” Mr Basu said.
BJP sources said PM Modi will address multiple rallies during the eight-phase polls in the state stretching a little over a month. Leaders like Amit Shah and JP Nadda will also address several meetings as well as other BJP heavyweights like Yogi Adityanath.
Asked about two-time TMC MLA from Pandabeswar and former Asansol mayor Jitendra Tiwari joining the BJP on March 2, Mr Basu said, “It is the culture of the saffron party to admit people having tarnished reputation with open arms”.
“Previously the local MP had protested publicly, but perhaps after being reprimanded by his higher-ups he will be mum this time despite having bitter memories,” he added.