New Delhi/Kolkata: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stepped up attack against Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee in what is seen as her ‘weakest spot’ – no industrialisation in Singur. “Trinamool Congress is proud that they stalled industry in Singur…,” the Prime Minister told a massive election rally at Tarekeshwar near Singur.
Adopting a new style in his campaign, Mr Modi exuded confidence in BJP forming government in West Bengal after May 2 and counseled state government officials in locations where elections are already over to start preparing a list of farmer beneficiaries who will get the financial assistance from his party-led dispensation.
“If the BJP comes to power in Bengal, I shall come for the oath-taking ceremony and ask the Chief Minister to give approval to the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi at the first cabinet meeting,” the Prime Minister told an election rally Tarakeswar about 25 km from Singur in Hooghly district.
Notably, Singur, the epitome of Trinamool’s anti-industry agitation falls under this district.
“Passing on the benefits to farmers will be the first job of our BJP government,” he said. The Prime Minister was also critical of the manner Mamata Banerjee had opposed the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi which was launched by his government in 2019.
“After May 2 we will not only have a double engine government, even the farmers will get double benefit,” he said.
“‘Didi (Mamata) did not approve the scheme. And so more than Rs 1.5 lakh crore has been sent to the accounts of 10 crore farmers, but the poor farmers in Bengal did not get it”.
The PM Kisan Samman Nidhi is a flagship Central government scheme that gives Rs 6,000 annual subsidy to the registered beneficiary farmers in three instalments of Rs 2,000 each. On Mamata’s Singur agitation which Trinamool presents as a rich legacy of her party, Mr Modi took a potshot:
“They are proud that they stalled industry in Singur. How they betrayed Singur you know it better than me. After using Singur politically they abandoned this place. Singur farmers are languishing and suffering as no industry came up”.
The Singur movement or row is related to Mamata’s steadfast opposition to the Tata Nano project as the land acquisition for an automobile factory at Singur was opposed by Trinamool. Incidentally, when Ratan Tata decided to shut the unit in Singur, Modi – then Gujarat Chief Minister – reportedly had sent an SMS to the Tata Group patriarch stating, “Welcome to Gujarat”.
The Nano project was later set up in Sanand about 40 km away from Ahmedabad.
“Some years back I got the fortune and good luck of moving our car factory to Gujarat and soon again with the leadership of Narendra Modi, Gujarat has become one of the hubs of car manufacturing in India,” the business honcho stated in 2017.
In his address on Saturday, April 3, Mr Modi said, “Once people from different parts of the country would come to work in the factories of Bengal. Now the youth of Bengal are going elsewhere…..The opportunities for doing business and generating employment is closed”.