Opposition has 9 PM aspirants, no leader: Amit Shah

BJP president Amit Shah addresses a rally at Nitayapur in West Bengal’s Malda district on Tuesday.

BJP president Amit Shah addresses a rally at Nitayapur in West Bengal’s Malda district on Tuesday.  

Such a long queue on their side and on our side there’s only one leader, says BJP chief; launches poll campaign in Bengal


Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah on Tuesday asserted that the rally of the Opposition parties at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Grounds showed that there were several contenders among them for the Prime Minister’s post and no real leader for the grouping.

“Out of the 23 persons who were at Brigade Parade Grounds, nine of them want to become Prime Minister,” Mr. Shah said at a rally in West Bengal’s Malda district. “There were nine Prime Minister aspirants on one stage... Such a long queue on their side and on our side there is only one leader, Narendra Modi, for the NDA,” he added in his speech, which was webcast on the party’s official YouTube account.


‘Only personal interests’

The ‘mahagathbandhan’ of Opposition parties had been formed to attain “power and for their personal interests,” Mr. Shah said. “All these leaders of the gathbandhan want a majboor sarkar [weak government]…They want to remove Modi, while we want to remove poverty, corruption,” he said.

Flagging off the party’s Lok Sabha poll campaign in West Bengal, the BJP president also attacked the State’s ruling Trinamool Congress party and urged the people to “uproot Mamata Banerjee’s government”.

Raising the contentious issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Mr. Shah said that all Bengali Hindu refugees would get citizenship once the Bill became a law. He said the Bill, which had not been supported by the Trinamool in the Lok Sabha, would be a poll issue in West Bengal.

Promise of citizenship

“I want to assure that all the Bengali Hindu refugees will be given citizenship under the Bill. The Trinamool government has done nothing for them,” he said. And with the rally held in a district bordering Bangladesh, the BJP president also spoke about issues like cattle smuggling and illegal infiltration.

Referring to attacks on BJP supporters in the panchayat polls and the denial of permission to hold ‘rath yatras’ in the State, Mr. Shah exhorted supporters to ensure that the party wins at least 23 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats from West Bengal.

Mr. Shah contended that Ms. Banerjee’s decision to keep the State out of the Ayushman Bharat [health insurance] scheme was a ‘classic’ example of the extent to which the Trinamool Congress government had gone to prevent the Centre’s development projects from reaching the people.

Responding to the BJP leader’s rally, Trinamool Congress national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O Brien said Mr. Shah’s speech was “low on facts and poor in taste”, adding that the BJP seemed “nervous and desperate”.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 7:54:45 PM |

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