Kolkata: Derek O'Brien, Rajya Sabha MP for the Trinamool Congress (TMC), on Sunday hit out at Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the latter's speech in West Bengal a day earlier. O'Brien took it upon himself to run what he called a 'fact check' on the Home Minister's speech and concluded that there are at least "7 pieces of concocted, false info" in the speech.
The TMC MP added a sardonic jibe at Amit Shah, noting that peddling such misinformation was "Actually, by his [the Home Minister's] standards, quite low!"
O'Brien who, prior to his Parliamentary career, became well known as the 'quizmaster' for the Bournvita Quiz Contest and other shows, had retained the brand on Twitter. He frequently takes to his official handle to 'fact check' attacks on the TMC from the opposition.
"#FactCheck of the speech made in Bengal by the henchman of the “tourist gang”. 7 pieces of concocted, false info in one speech. Actually, by his standards, quite low!" O'Brien tweeted on this day.
The Parliamentarian began with countering Amit Shah's claim that "Mamata Banerjee had left the Congress for another party and is accusing people of defection today".
O'Brien pointed out, in context of the above, that Mamata had, in fact, not defected to another party.
"She set up a NEW party in 1998, the All India Trinamool Congress," pointed out O'Brien.
The list also counters six more such allegations made by the Home Minister, involving misappropriation of Ayushmann Bharat benefits and PM Kisan funds.
Here's the list of claims made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, which are 'fact-checked' by Derek O'Brien, according to the TMC Parliamentarian:
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday, hitting out at the Mamata Banerjee government over continued political violence in West Bengal, claimed there will be more desertions to the BJP from the TMC and that the West Bengal chief minister will be left alone in her party by the time elections arrive.
Addressing a party rally in Midnapore, Shah had alleged that the Mamata Banerjee government was steeped in corruption resulting in alienation of the masses.
Taking a swipe at the TMC over a string of desertions ahead of the assembly elections, he said, "Why are so many people leaving Trinamool Congress? Because of the misrule, corruption and nepotism of Mamata Banerjee. Didi, this is just the beginning. By the time elections come, you will be left all alone."
Shah's assertions came on a day West Bengal political heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari, nine MLAs of different parties and a TMC MP joined the BJP.
The Home Minister exuded confidence that the BJP will form the next government in the state with more than 200 seats. West Bengal has a 294-member assembly.
"I want to say it clearly that the BJP will form the next government in the state with more than 200 seats... political violence and intimidation by the TMC won't yield any benefit. BJP president J P Nadda's convoy was attacked, so many our party workers have been killed," he said.
"The more violence you (the TMC) perpetrate, the more stronger the BJP will emerge," he asserted.
West Bengal political heavyweight and TMC's rebel leader Suvendu Adhikari joined BJP at Home Minister Amit Shah's rally in Midnapore.
In addition to Adhikari, TMC MP Sunil Mondal, nine sitting MLAs, including five from Mamata Banerjee's party also joined BJP in the presence of Amit Shah today.
Adhikari had recently tendered his resignation to party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. He also resigned from the West Bengal Legislative Assembly tendering his resignation to the Speaker.