PM Modi hits out at Mamata, Karat during Ramlila rally

Last Updated 22 December 2019, 15:16 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday targeted his political rivals from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to former CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat for their opposition to the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), as he accused the Opposition of doing "vote-bank politics".

Addressing a rally here, Modi picked Banerjee specifically for her opposition to the CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC), as she led several protests in West Bengal against the central government's moves and was among the first ones to announce that both the measures will not be carried out in her state.

"Didi (Mamata) went from Kolkata to the United Nations. A few years back, she was pleading before the Parliament that infiltrators coming from Bangladesh should be stopped. She even threw papers at the Speaker then. Didi, what has happened to you? Why did you change? Why are you spreading rumours? Elections come and go. Why are you scared? Be confident about the people of Bengal," Modi said.

He also said the Congress should at least remember what former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke in Parliament in 2003 supporting the move to provide citizenship to the persecuted minorities in neighbouring countries.

Speaking about Karat, Modi referred to an earlier letter by Karat which supported citizenship for victims of religious persecution coming from Bangladesh.

"These people have always done vote-bank politics. Everything ever said by them was a lie. They are agitating for votes, spreading violence and rumours," he said at the rally at Ramlila Maidan organised by Delhi BJP to thank him for regularising unauthorised colonies in the capital.

As Delhi elections are at the doorsteps, Modi also attacked the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government saying it was "completely indifferent" to city's problems.

"You have not done enough for unauthorised colonies. I decided I cannot let this go on....BJP got a chance to usher in a new dawn by giving over 40 lakh people ownership rights to their houses," Modi said.

"We built peripheral expressways, opened hundreds of CNG stations to curb pollution...25 km of the new metro route have been added annually in the last five years.... Had the Delhi government not politicised the Phase 4 of Delhi metro, the work would have started much earlier. That is why I say that those who do politics in your name, never understood your pain, they never intended to do that...AAP government is hindering work," he said.

He also accused the AAP government of giving over 2,000 bungalows in posh Delhi locations to "VIPs' close to it in an illegal manner" and "no one knows what was given to whom in lieu of that".

(Published 22 December 2019, 12:32 IST)

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