West Bengal

West Bengal Assembly Elections | Bengal yearning for a positive change, says Modi in virtual address

BJP activists attend virtual meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Shahid Minar maidan for ongoing State Assembly poll in Kolkata, on Friday, April 23, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday addressed the electorate in West Bengal virtually and said that people are yearning for a positive change.

“From different corners of the State wherever I have campaigned I have seen a yearning for a change in the State,” Mr. Modi said, addressing the virtual rally.

The Prime Minister was scheduled to address four rallies in Malda, Murshidabad, Suri and south Kolkata during the day but the rallies were cancelled because of his engagements at Delhi. The Election Commission of India had banned road shows and bike rallies and capped the number of people attending public rallies at 500.

In his 30-minute address that was videostreamed at the four venues, the Prime Minister made repeated references to “Ashol Paribartan’ and ‘Sonar Bangla’, the two phrases that have been used by the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) extensively during their campaign.

“The people of West Bengal want dignity of labour, ease of living and ease of doing business and the BJP has taken a pledge to fulfil these dreams,” Mr. Modi said.

The Prime Minister, unlike in the earlier public rallies, made no direct attacks on the Trinamool Congress and avoided any mention of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. But in a veiled attack on the party, Mr. Modi said, “Illegal immigration, syndicates, and extortion are hurdles to West Bengal’s development.”

The Prime Minister said that after nearly four decades, the people of West Bengal have a chance to strengthen democracy in the State and appreciated the high turnout in the first six phase of elections in the State.

Pointing out that this was the last election meeting before the State went to polls for the seventh and eight phases, he urged the people of the State to vote in large numbers. “ You have to come out on the polling day and maintain all safety protocols related to COVID,” he said. The seventh phase of polling on 36 Assembly seats in the State will be held on April 26 and the last phase of polling on 35 seats on April 29.

During the speech the Prime Minister, who quoted Rabindranath Tagore at least twice, spoke about development of infrastructure in Kolkata, the benefits of PM Kisan scheme to about 70 lakh farmers in the State and the Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme.

“This election is not only about change of government in West Bengal. I can see a rise of aspirations. People of West Bengal yearn for peace, security and development,” he said. The Prime Minister promised that the BJP government would use technology to transform Kolkata “to the city of the future”.

Mr. Modi exuded confidence that the BJP would form the next government in West Bengal and said that he would come to Kolkata for the swearing-in ceremony.

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 2:26:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/west-bengal-assembly/west-bengal-assembly-elections-modi-tempers-attack-on-mamata-as-he-winds-up-bengal-campaign/article34393724.ece

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