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Kolkata: In his first public rally after announcement of dates for the eight-phase Assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday went full-throttle against the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal.
Countering Trinamool's 'Khela hobe' campaign slogan, he said: "Trinamool ka khela khatam, vikas shuru... What game have you not played with people of Bengal? Extortion, corruption... you even played with the lives of people. Your game is up," he said, mocking the Trinamool.
He said the next 25 years are very important for the development of Bengal as the development here in the next 5 years will lay the foundation for it.
Modi said that 'Ashol Poriborton' (real change) in Bengal means where trade and business would flourish, where maximum investment would come. "'Ashol Poriborton' means Bengal will have modern infrastructure of the 21st century," he said, asking "Has change come in Bengal? Have you got what was promised?"
Preparing a roadmap for the upcoming polls, he also urged people to vote BJP fearlessly and vote against bad governance. Modi said that he never saw such a huge turnout in any political rally ever in his life. He said that his visit was targeted to reassure the people of Bengal that the BJP would work towards a better tomorrow.
"Let me assure you that we will leave no stone unturned to develop Bengal. We want Bengal to be full of employment opportunities so that people do not have to go out. Real change means 21st century infrastructure, more investment, comprehensive growth and more economic power to poor people," he pointed out.
Modi said that the Centre had worked very hard to develop Kolkata but due to Trinamool's "commission culture", many important projects of Kolkata airport got stuck. "BJP will stop this and complete those projects," he said, adding that the democratic system has been destroyed in Bengal during the Trinamool regime. but the BJP will strengthen this system.
"We will bring the change to re-establish public belief in government systems, in the police, and the administration...Kolkata also has a legacy of a rich past and also has future prospects. Then why can't Kolkata be a city of future while preserving its culture?" he said.
Modi said that the Mamata-led Trinamool government had shattered the expectations of people in the state. "Bengal wants development, peace and prosperity. People want Bengal to reach the peak of development. They want 'Sonar Bangla' (Golden Bengal). People have come here to bring real change in Bengal," he said.
He urged the gathering to vote against bad governance and to free people from fear. "The people of Bengal had chosen you as 'Didi', then why did you remain the aunt of a nephew? The people of Bengal want an answer from you," the PM said, referring to the Chief Minister.
He said there would be no appeasement politics in the state if the BJP comes to power. The party will not entertain illegal immigrants. Bollywood superstar and from Bengal Mithun Chakraborty on Sunday also joined the BJP's mega show at Kolkata's iconic Brigade Parade ground in the presence of Modi.
Other BJP functionaries like state unit president Dilip Ghosh, all-India general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, national vice-president Mukul Roy and Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta, along with many state BJP leaders, were present at the ground in Kolkata where Modi addressed the public meeting.
The 294-member West Bengal Assembly will go to the polls in eight phases between March 27 and April 29. Counting of votes will take place on May 2.