Modi takes on Third Front parties

“Time has come to bid farewell to this idea of Third Front from Indian politics forever,” the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate told a party rally in Kolkata.

February 05, 2014 05:03 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:25 pm IST - Kolkata

Making his debut in West Bengal in the campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a blistering attack on the Left parties and the Third Front, saying they will make India a “third-rate” country.

Trying to strike a chord with the Bengalis, he accused the Congress of denying Pranab Mukherjee the Prime Minister’s chair in 2004 even though he “deserved” it.

Mr. Modi was severe in his criticism of the Left parties and their partners, saying they have destroyed the eastern region of the country by their rule while western India has shown progress because they had never ruled that region.

“These people (Left and its associates) who do politics in the name of secularism practice the politics of vote-bank by misleading Muslims. They destroyed the eastern region. You must banish them from the Indian politics forever,” he said in a speech interspersed with some sentences in Bengali.

The BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate was critical of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the beginning, asking people if the promised poribartan (change) had come and do they feel whether things have changed. “People are still waiting for it.”

However, later he softened, saying after the Assembly elections you have an elected government under Ms. Banerjee. He said people can experiment by electing BJP candidates in all the 42 Lok Sabha seats. Let the TMC do the job in the State and the BJP at the Centre, he said.

“Bengal has always given direction to the country. You elect BJP candidates from all Lok Sabha seats. TMC government will do its job here. You hold them accountable for the work in the State and me for the work in the country. Let there be competition... West Bengal government alone cannot change the State’s fate. You will need Delhi’s help as well.

“It will be a win-win situation for you with me at the Centre, Mamata Banerjee in the State and Pranabda to supervise us,” he said.

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