Kolkata : In Kolkata, Narendra Modi’s praises for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has created uneasiness for the ruling Trinamool Congress leadership in the state.
He said: “While the SP and BSP leaders were conniving with the UPA government because of CBI cases against them, Mamata was fighting against the Centre for the rights of the people of West Bengal.”
In April at a meeting of a chamber of commerce here, Modi remarked, “It took me 10 years to fill up the hole in Gujarat created by our Congress friends. In West Bengal, the CPI(M) has created a crater in 34 years. Mamata’s government is only two years old and I do not know how much time it will take for her. The people of West Bengal have entrusted her and she is doing excellent work.”
Realising, that Modi’s praises might affect the TMC’s minority vote bank, its Rajya Sabha MP and all-India general secretary Mukul Roy commented, “Mamata Banerjee is toiling for the development of the state and we do not need anyone’s certificate. There is no equation at all. If anyone has said so, it was because of his own interest. I am sure she will fulfil the dreams of the people.”
However, state BJP leaders admitted that keeping in mind the post-Lok Sabha scenario, Modi is trying to draw Banerjee back into the NDA fold. During the Howrah Lok Saha bypoll in the state, BJP chief Rajnath Singh at the last moment directed his party’s nominee to withdraw from the contest to please Banerjee. The TMC nominee, footballer-turned politician Prasun Banerjee won with a thumping majority.
But the TMC leaders are worried as West Bengal’s electorate comprise 30 percent of minority votes with five Muslim-majority districts, most of whom had swung in favour of Banerjee’s charisma and voted the Left front out of power.