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regular-article-logo Monday, 20 May 2024

Rajnath Singh accuses Mamata Banerjee of trying to shield accused in Sandeshkhali and using infiltrators as voters

Defence minister who reached Jaigaon few hours after releasing BJP’s election manifesto in Delhi, also took on TMC over law and order

Anirban Choudhury Jaigaon (Alipurduar) Published 15.04.24, 10:39 AM
Manoj Tigga, the BJP’s Alipurduar candidate, greets Union defence minister Rajnath Singh at the public meeting in Jaigaon, Alipurduar district, on Sunday

Manoj Tigga, the BJP’s Alipurduar candidate, greets Union defence minister Rajnath Singh at the public meeting in Jaigaon, Alipurduar district, on Sunday Picture by Anirban Choudhury

Union defence minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday accused chief minister Mamata Banerjee of trying to shield the accused in Sandeshkhali and using infiltrators as voters.

“I want to tell Mamata Banerjee that you and your administration had information about the torture meted out to women in Sandeshkhali. Still, you were protecting the culprits. Now, the CBI is probing the case. I want to assure the women of Sandeshkhali that you will get justice,” Singh said at a public meeting in Jaigaon, the town in Alipurduar which shares borders with Bhutan.

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Singh, who reached Jaigaon a few hours after releasing the BJP’s election manifesto in Delhi, also took on Trinamul over law and order.

“In Bengal, law and order is in a shambles. No one is safe. Unless there is a strict law-and-order mechanism, no state can move towards development. The practice of cut-money is prevalent and the highhandedness of tolabaj (extortionists) is known across the state. This is because Trinamul patronises these people,” said the senior BJP leader.

Like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleague, home minister Amit Shah, the defence minister also asserted that the Centre was determined to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

“Trinamul is opposing it as it uses infiltrators as voters. We will implement CAA and the Uniform Civil Code at any cost,” he said.

In Alipurduar, elections will be held on April 19. BJP has fielded Manoj Tigga in the seat by replacing John Barla, who had won the seat in 2019.

Singh said the Trinamul government in Bengal doesn’t let the Centre implement the social welfare schemes.

“They have indulged in corruption even in the public distribution system through which poor people get food grain. They create deterrents for the prime minister to implement development schemes here with the apprehension that if such schemes are implemented, Trinamul will no longer be in power,” he said.

Ahead of the elections, Trinamul has raised the issue of the BJP-led Centre freezing the housing scheme funds meant for Bengal. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Trinamul national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee have repeatedly said that the Centre has not provided funds for the scheme. The issue further gained ground after the March 31 mini-tornado that hit parts of Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar and left hundreds homeless.

Singh, while speaking on the issue, claimed that the Centre has provided funds to the state under the scheme.

“We have paid the money but the state didn’t hand it over to people who don’t have pucca (concrete) houses. Once the elections are over, we will provide houses to you,” he said.

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