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Extortion rackets run by Mamata Banerjee, says Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a rally in Midnapore district of West Bengal. File photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a rally in Midnapore district of West Bengal. File photo   | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister flags off BJP campaign with two rallies in West Bengal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched his election campaign in east India and West Bengal with an attack on the newly formed Opposition alliance, the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Congress.

Among the three, Mr Modi reserved his choicest barbs for the Trinamool and its head, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The Prime Minister raised several allegations against the Chief Minister including of large-scale corruption, running of “syndicates” that control the construction business and her alleged involvement in financial scams.

Mr. Modi alleged that the Trinamool government refused to approve any project that did not have a “kickback” option.

“The Central government is giving thousands of crores to the State but either the projects are slow or not taking off. The Trinamool government does not touch a project unless there is a syndicate involved in it or they have no opting of receiving a kickback; this is an anti-development government,” Mr. Modi said.

“Every child knows that there is a thing called triple T in Bengal — Trinamool Tolabaji Tax — which every job aspirant has to pay,” Mr. Modi said at a rally in Durgapur in Bardhhaman district. Tolabaji is colloquial Bengali for extortion.

Without naming Ms. Banerjee, the Prime Minister said all forms of extortion or kickbacks “reach one door” indicating that the Trinamool chief is involved in running the networks. He further added that Ms. Banerjee was now “scared”.

“She is trying to stop the investigating agencies from coming to Bengal. Why are you worried, Didi, if you have not committed any crime,” Mr. Modi said recalling CBI action against him during the UPA regime.

He also criticised the united Opposition for its assembly in Kolkata on January 19, arguing that they came to Kolkata to “hide their crimes”.

“But your teaseller will expose each and every one of them,” he said.

Earlier, addressing a rally at Thakurnagar in North 24 Paraganas district, Mr. Modi asked the Trinamool “to support the [Citizenship Amendment] Bill” in the Rajya Sabha.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 2:55:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/modi-slams-mamata-over-violence-on-her-home-turf/article26160542.ece

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