Narendra Modi vows to install new Vidyasagar statue, Mamata Banerjee says Bengal has money

Published: May 16, 2019, 15:48 IST | mid-day online desk |

Kolkata witnessed wide-spread violence during BJP president Shah's massive roadshow on Tuesday

Mamata Banerjee
Mamata Banerjee

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said his government was committed towards Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's vision and promised to install his grand statue at the same spot in Kolkata where it was vandalised by "TMC goondas".

Lashing out at Mamata Banerjee, the prime minister said he was going for a rally in Dum Dum later in the day but was not sure if the West Bengal Chief Minister will allow his helicopter to land.
"We have been witnessing the attitude of didi for long and now the country is also seeing it.

Dedicated to the vision of Ishwar Chand Vidyasagar, our government will install a panch dhatu (made up of five metals) statue at the very spot and give a reply to TMC goondas," he said while addressing a poll rally.

"The statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was broken by TMC goondas during the road show of BJP President Amit Shah. Those involved in this act should be given strong punishment," the prime minister said.

Kolkata witnessed wide-spread violence during BJP president Shah's massive roadshow on Tuesday. A bust of 19th-century Bengali icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was vandalised during the violence.

Modi charged that "anarchy" was spread by TMC workers during his earlier meetings in West Midnapore and Thakurnagar. "In Cooch Behar in Bengal where a dais was to be set up for my rally, didi got a grand dais made for her party. I have been seeing this attitude of didi since long but now the country is seeing it," he said.

"I have a rally in Dum Dum. Let us see if didi allows it. If she has her way she will not allow the helicopter to land, Modi said. Hitting back at BSP supremo Mayawati, who had attacked him over violence in West Bengal, Modi said, "The manner in which the West Bengal government has been targeting UPiites, Biharis and those from Purvanchal, I thought behenji will give a befitting reply but she is more concerned about power".

Hours after Narendra Modi promised a grand statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at the same spot where the old one stood before being vandalised, Mamata Banerjee shot back and asserted that West Bengal has the money required for the polymath's structure and asked if the Prime Minister can return the 200-year-old heritage.

"He (PM) said he will make Vidyasagar statue. Bengal has money to make the statue. Can he give back the 200 years old heritage? We have proof and you say that TMC has done. Are not you ashamed? He should do sit-ups for lying so much. Liar. Prove allegations otherwise we will drag you to jail," Mamata lashed out.

Lashing out at the SP-BSP alliance, he said those raising "Modi-hatao slogans are today frustrated. Uttar Pradesh has made their arithmetic all wrong and so their abuses have increased".

"Actually the country has come to know the truth of these mahamilavatis...they all know that Modi hatao was just a slogan but actually their aim is to hide their corruption," he said, adding they somehow want a 'khichdi' and weak government which can be "blackmailed" as per their needs.

"SP-BSP have made an opportunistic alliance. They have struck a deal at the top but on the ground, their workers are still attacking each other," he said.

"They are mistaken in thinking that SP and BSP votes will be transferred.They take some castes as their slaves," he said, adding it appears they did not understand the situation in 2014, 2017 polls but will now understand in 2019 that castes should not be treated as a slave.

In the name of castes, they gained power and used it for making bungalows and make their relatives 'crorepatis' and 'arabpatis', he charged. "Be it bua or babua they have distanced themsleves from people, created a tall wall of 'darbaris' and yes men that they cannot see the 'sukh dukh' of the poor," he said.

The history of Samajwadi Party, the prime minister said, is known by the people of UP "but behenji, will you seek votes for such a candidate. All know what was the situation of Betis during the Samajwadi Party rule but behenji your stand on the rape of a Dalit daughter in Alwar has brought your behaviour also under the question".

The government in Rajasthan is being run with the support of behenji but it tried to keep the rape incident hidden in view of elections... this attitude of behenji shows that for selfish interest anyone can be betrayed, he said. Stressing that his government was committed to the security of women, Modi said it was his government which brought the death penalty in rape cases and pressing the button on lotus will mean the death penalty for rapists.

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Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from Agencies

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