Home Minister Amit Shah on February 11 launched a scathing attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for ‘blocking’ the Centre’s cash benefits for poor farmers while promising to give Rs 18,000 in bank accounts if BJP comes to power in the state.
“Did you get Rs 6,000 in your bank accounts?” Shah asked the crowd assembled at the launch of the fourth phase of the “Poriborton Yatra” from Rash Mela Ground in Cooch Behar.
The crowd responded with ‘No’. To this Shah said, “How will you get the money from Modiji when Mamata didi doesn’t send the list of beneficiaries and bank details.”
Continuing his attack, Shah said that the West Bengal chief minister was scared of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and hence was blocking central schemes.
“Don’t worry. Bring BJP to power. We will ensure in the first cabinet meeting that we credit Rs 18,000, including Rs 12,000 you lost, in your bank accounts,” Shah said, asking the chief minister why is she blocking money of poor farmers.
"Are you scared that when they (farmers) get the money, they will appreciate Modiji," Shah said addressing Mamata Banerjee.
The home minister was referring to the PM Kisan scheme, under which Rs 6,000 per year in three equal instalments is provided to small and marginal farmer families having a combined landholding of up to two hectares.
After refusing to implement the scheme for more than a year, the West Bengal chief minister had last month agreed to roll out the cash benefit scheme in the state
Last week, the CM said her government has sent names of 2.5 lakh farmers to the Centre for inclusion in the scheme but they were yet to get any benefit. She sought to know why the Union government was yet to disburse any cash benefits to the eligible beneficiaries.
In the address, Shah also invoked the "Jai Shri Ram slogan" issue, a flashpoint in the poll-bound state since January.
"If ''Jai Shri Ram'' is not chanted in India, will it be raised in Pakistan?" Shah said accusing Mamata Banerjee of getting angry at ''Jai Shri Ram'' slogan.
“She will begin chanting it by the time assembly polls are over," he said.
At an event last month attended by the Prime Minister, Mamata Banerjee had refused to continue with her speech after some people from back rows shouted the slogan. Top BJP leaders, including PM Modi have referred to the issue in public addresses.
Shah also laid out poll promises of the BJP in West Bengal. The BJP government, he said, will spend Rs 500 crore and build a Rajbanshi Cultural Centre in this region as a tribute to the legends of Rajbanshi community. He also promised building a tourist circuit, which will have the Madan Mohan mandir in Cooch Behar and other mandirs from the region as well.
The BJP kicked off the month-long Parivartan Yatra on February 6 ahead of the assembly elections in West Bengal due in April-May.