Kolkata: Mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Swachh Bharat' campaign and calling him a 'demagogue', CPI(M) politburo member Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Thursday said sweeping streets will not remove poverty in the country.
"Our previous prime minister Manmohan Singh was said to be a person who didn't talk much. Now we have Prime Minister Narendra Modi who talks too much and on each and every issue as if a demagogue is speaking.
"Nobody speaks so much like him (Modi). Within a minute he removed the five year plan programme, which is such an old programme," Bhattacharjee told the 50th anniversary of the party Congress of CPI-M.
Attacking the BJP-led government at the Centre and the rise of saffron brigade in the state, the CPI-M leader said "He (Modi) is only busy sweeping streets and is asking everybody to do so. I would like to say that by sweeping the streets of the country you can't remove the poverty of the nation. Until and unless poverty is removed, the common people are deprived of basic amenities and services and there is no use of sweeping the streets."
He accused BJP and RSS of allegedly trying to inject communal tensions in the state through communal designs and programmes.
"The dirty communal hands of RSS and VHP are trying to increase their clout in every sphere. Earlier, communal riots meant Gujarat, now no state can claim that it is free from communal tensions. In our state (WB) too some media houses are trying to spread the idea that the political space of Left is taken by the saffron brigade. But I would like to say that the colour red can never be replaced by saffron, because red is the colour of poor people and struggle."
Continuing his tirade, Bhattacharjee said BJP was trying to create a communal polarisation in the state. "RSS is working towards creating communal polarisation in the state and disturb the secular fabric of our state. But as long as we are there we won't allow that to happen."
He also lashed out at the economic policies of the Modi government at the Centre.
"The country has never faced such a crisis since Independence. The RSS, which is based on barbarism of middle ages and the corporates have joined hands and are looting the natural resources of the nation. The economic policies are only intended to help the rich and deprive the poor and middle class," the former chief minister added.
Bhattacharjee, however, accepted that in some places in West Bengal where the Left and CPI(M) are on the back foot, BJP is trying to gain ground.
"We had a few setbacks and in villages where we are on Blackfoot, the BJP is going there, asking the people to join BJP if they want to save themselves.
"We want to tell our cadre and supporters that please don't surrender to the communal forces as we are there with them," he added.