Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched a scathing attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, accusing her of trying to save those who defrauded the poor in the chit fund scams, and said that none of the offenders will be spared.
"It has happened for the first time in the history of the nation that a Chief Minister sat in a dharna in support of those who looted thousands of poor people. She is trying to protect the looters and those who ruined the lives of the poor," Modi said while addressing a public rally at Churabhandar in the state's Jalpaiguri district.
Banerjee held a 45-hour sit-in protest in the hub of Kolkata following an ugly face-off between the Central Bureau of Investigation officers and personnel of the Kolkata police, when the federal probe agency had shown up near the residence of the Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev kumar to quiz him in the ponzi scheme scam case.
Kumar had headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by Banerjee to probe the multi-billion-rupee financial scandal before the CBI took over the investigation following a Supreme Court order.
"Today, Bengal has such a Chief Minister who stands with those who looted the hard-earned money of thousands of poor. The people of Bengal want to ask her why she is so scared of the probe into the chit fund scam. Why is she holding dharna for those who are accused of callousness in probing the scandal," Modi questioned.
"I want to assure all the families who suffered in the Saradha, Narada and Rose Valley scams that the 'chowkidaar' (guard) will not spare anybody. Be it the looters or their protectors, no one will be spared," Modi said.
"They can assemble as many people as they want to hold dharnas, and gather as many leaders as possible, the people who looted the poor will be punished. I want to assure the sufferers of the chit fund scams that those who brought such adversities upon them will be put to justice," he said.
Upping his ante against the Mamata Banerjee government, the Prime Minister said the situation in Bengal is such that infiltrators are welcomed but there is a bar on BJP leaders.
"The situation in West Bengal is such that the state government welcomes those who face grave charges. The government here also welcomes the infiltrators but tries to stop the leaders of BJP, which is world's largest political party,"he said.
"Obstructing rallies, refusing to allow helicopters to land and attacks on BJP functionarie are signals that the land is slipping from under the Trinamool's feet. Until now there was nobody to challenge the Trinamool's mischief-makers. So they continued with their atrocities. Now BJP is with you (the people) and it has taken an oath to free Bengal from the hooligans and syndicates," Modi said, evoking cheers from thousands of party activists present at the rally ground.
Referring to the violence and killings in Bengal during the state rural body elections last year, he said the people of Bengal have shown a trailer of what is to come in future elections by electing a large number of saffron party candidates despite threats and assaults by the ruling Trinamool Congress.
"I want to assure the people of Bengal that no one will be able to stop them from exercising their rights in the world's largest democracy. I have full faith in the Election Commission that they will ensure impartiality and foolproof security," he added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)