TMC dubs BJP rally as 'grand flop show'

Ruling Trinamool Congress on Sunday refused to attach much importance to BJP chief Amit Shah's rally in the city and described it as a "grand flop show" with poor attendance.

Kolkata: Ruling Trinamool Congress on Sunday refused to attach much importance to BJP chief Amit Shah's rally in the city and described it as a "grand flop show" with poor attendance.

"Such a meeting is organised by our block presidents," TMC Secretary-General Partha Chatterjee said.

Despite its attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, BJP would not be successful in tarnishing her image and honesty.

"The whole world knows about her honesty and there can't be any doubt," he said.

Chatterjee, who is also the state's Higher Education Minister, alleged that BJP was trying to disintegrate regional political parties by using power and police to maintain its political supremacy.

"BJP is now eyeing civic poll followed by the Assembly poll in 2016, but it will fail to achieve its target. BJP should now concentrate in Delhi before focussing on Kolkata (civic poll) and then West Bengal," Chatterjee said.

Another senior TMC leader and state Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee said the rally was a "grand flop show" with poor attendance. "The BJP tried to bring many leaders from northern India, but failed to make it a success," he said.

Alleging that BJP was using CBI and NIA for political purposes, Mukherjee said, "Both the probe agencies have joined hands with the government in power at the Centre to help BJP maintain its supremacy."

"The BJP government should know that the Mamata Banerjee government initiated prompt action against the Saradha chit fund scam and arrested Saradha Group chief Sudipto Sen along with several others immediately.

"We have already returned money to over five lakh poor investors," he added.

On the BJP chief's question as to "who bought Mamata Banerjee's paintings paying such a huge amount", Chatterjee said, "I will like to clarify that Mamata Banerjee has painted them only, she has never sold them."

He then launched a counter-attack, alleging that BJP had not provided details of its expenses in the last Lok Sabha elections.

On Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat Mission, Chatterjee urged Shah to spend more time in the country to make his move a success.

"When did he get the time to see the country?... For the last five months he (Modi) has been travelling abroad," he said.

Accusing a local news channel of trying to make the BJP rally a success, Chatterjee alleged that the party was largely depending on local news channels to spread wings in West Bengal.

He alleged that BJP had been using the police and its political power to disintegrate regional political parties and urged BJP's West Bengal in-charge Siddharth Nath Singh not to visit the state.

"I don't understand why Siddharth Nath has to come to West Bengal... I would urge him not to come here because it would be good for the state if he cut down on his visits," he said.

He said, "TMC does not have any objection to anybody holding meeting anywhere in the state. But in West Bengal we follow a political culture. We pay our respect to Netaji on January 23 garlanding his statue but leave the venue to allow Forward Block to host their meeting. The same thing we do on May 1 with the CPI(M).

"And we hold our meeting on July 21 to mark the Martyr's Day in front of the Victoria House. In West Bengal, we follow a tradition which the BJP has broken today by hosting the meeting there," he said.