Mocking ruling TMC for its posters and banners in recent years carrying pictures of its supremo proclaiming projects and programmes, BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Saturday said he looks forward to a Bengal where only pictures of icons will feature on them.
Mr. Adhikari, who did not name any person, was alluding to posters and banners having pictures of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee proclaiming the state's various development projects or ongoing state-organised festivals put up in the city and other parts of state in which she is described as the 'Pride of Bengal'.
He told a meeting in Purbo Medinipur district, "We will usher in a Bengal where banners before schools, colleges and other places will only have pictures of icons like Swami Vivekananda, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Ranindranath Tagore and others describing them as Prides of Bengal".
Iterating he did not want to float a regional party when his relation soured with TMC, Mr. Adhikari said there had been numerous instances of outfits like Bangla Congress having been floated in the past but none of these had lasted for long.
"I don't want to float a family driven party," said Mr. Adhikari, who has been critical of Banerjee's nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee.
He also mocked TMC putting up posters about the success in 100 days' work at gram panchayats around the meeting venue. "After some time there will not be anyone to put up flag poles for TMC", he said in an obvious reference to the state polls in April-May.
Mr. Adhikari said, "TMC will cease to exist after May.
There won't be any candidate whom the TMC can field in next panchayat polls", the BJP leader said.
Reacting to allegations about a deal between him and BJP top brass for his joining the saffron party, Mr. Adhikari said, "The deal was to give good governance to Bengal, to hold regular SSC exams and ensure fair and regular recruitment, to see to it that the state government employees are not financially discriminated, to see the unemployed youth get job opportunities, to see that industries come up instead of only shops selling fritters." He said the land policy of the TMC was the reason why no industries come up in West Bengal.
Alleging that there was surveillance and threat to political opponents of the state government, Mr. Adhikari said it will cease when the model code of conduct comes into existence before the poll.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi believed in inclusive development and not in the development of a community. The TMC in contrast wanted to show that it is only concerned about development of one group of people.
Mr. Adhikari also criticised the TMC government for allegedly changing names of central projects and passing it off as state-sponsored projects.
Commenting on Mr. Adhikari's statement, TMC Secretary General and minister Partha Chatterjee said they have no depth, nor substance.
"It is only meant for creating gimmicks. It will not cut much ice with the people of the state who hold Mamata Banerjee in high esteem," he added.
Around 1000 TMC workers joined BJP at the meeting led by former Trinamool Zilla Parishad member Somnath Bhuniya.