Death, money has replaced ‘Maa Maati Manush’ in Bengal: Modi

Madarihat (West Bengal), April 7 (IANS) Castigating the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal over issues like corruption and deaths of tea gardens workers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said only “death can be heard” instead of the Trinamool Congress’ call of “Maa Maati Manush”.

Campaigning for the assembly polls here in Alipurduar district, Modi lambasted the ruling Trinamool and the opposition Left Front for indulging only in blame game instead of talking about development and good governance.

Starting off in Bengali, Modi touched upon his days as a tea seller and assured the people that he was aware about the problems faced by the workers of tea estates in the region.

“I want to solve your problems and that is why I seek your blessings,” he said in Bengali, before taking to Hindi and lashed out at Banerjee and her Trinamool.

“In the last polls (2011), we used to hear about ‘Maa Maati Manush’ (Trinamool’s slogan of mother, land, poeple), but what we heard in the last five years was only one thing — death. Death has taken the place of ‘Maa Maati Manush’,” said Modi.

Deriding the state government of neglecting the welfare of tea estate workers, Modi alleged a nexus between the Trinamool and the tea estate owners.

“Even yesterday, two tea workers have died. The reason is neglect by the state government and the nexus of the tea estate owners and the government.

“Legally, there should be a welfare officer for tea estates, a dedicated office for the purpose. Is there any tea estate where such officer or office exists? Isn’t this the responsibility of the state?

“Concerned by the situation, we sent our minister Nirmala Sitharaman (union commerce minister) and I had taken a strong decision of acquiring these estates for the welfare of workers.

“But look at this Mamata government, they joined hands with the corporates and went to court to get a stay,” said Modi, referring to the Centre’s decision to take over the control of seven ailing tea estates belonging to the Duncan Group which has been challenged before the Calcutta High Court.

“I want to work for your welfare but hurdles are being created. But I assure you I will never allow to stop that welfare, will never allow to stop welfare for the people. This is my decision and it will be done,” asserted Modi.

Ridiculing the Trinamool over a sting operation in which many of its leaders were allegedly caught taking bribe, Modi said the Banerjee government was busy either with “business of death” or “business of money”.

He said the Mamata Banerjee government furthered the “Left Front’s 34 years of misrule” and ruined Bengal.

“Instead of talking about development, Didi and the Left are busy blaming each other over rapes, crime and corruption.

“I am surprised to see they are more concerned about playing the blame game instead of talking about building hospitals, roads, and securing our women,” said Modi, urging the people to vote for the BJP.

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