Kolkata, February 5, 2014
BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Wednesday played on Bengali pride and accused the Congress of practising dynasty politics when he told a huge rally in Kolkata that the party had denied President Pranab Mukherjee a chance to become Prime Minister after the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984.
Congress denied Mukherjee the chance to become PM: Modi
Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today played on Bengali pride and accused the Congress of practising of dynasty politics when he told a huge rally in Kolkata that the party had denied President Pranab Mukherjee a chance to become Prime Minister of the country after the assassination of Indira Gandhi in October 1984.
Citing it as an example of Congress' injustice towards West Bengal, he said that Mr Mukherjee, who hails from the state, was not chosen for the post even though he was the seniormost in the Cabinet after the death of the then Prime Minister.
“When Indiraji was killed, Rajiv Gandhi was in Kolkata. Democracy entails senior most Minister, Pranabji should have been PM. But no, that did not happen," he said.
Mr Modi said that it would have been good if Mr Mukherjee had been chosen as the Prime Minister at that time but, on the contrary, he was not even included in Mr Gandhi's Cabinet.
He went on to say that when Congress President Sonia Gandhi declined the post in 2004, she chose Dr Manmohan Singh for the Prime Minister's position instead of Mr Mukherjee.
The Gujarat Chief Minister urged the people of the state to give the BJP all the Lok Sabha seats from West Bengal just like they had voted the Left Front out in the last Assembly elections.
“You bid farewell to those who ruined West Bengal for 35 years. That was a very good start. But I also want to ask, has the 'parivartan' come? Can you feel the change?" he asked.
“I want you to do one thing. Please make BJP win all Lok Sabha seats from West Bengal. People of West Bengal are revolutionary. You took a big decision in the State Elections, now take a brave decision in 2014," he said.
He promised to visit the state regularly and serve the people of the state even more if the people of West Bengal voted the BJP to power.
“If you give us all the seats then I would really love to come here more often and serve you even more,” he said.
"Today I say, support us and we will give you 'surajya'. I am saying it from land of Subhas Babu," he said, referring to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's famous call during the independence struggle, "Give me your blood, and I will give you freedom."
Accusing the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre of ignoring the needs of the common man, he asked, "After so many years, is asking for development not your right."
Mr Modi said the eastern part of India had lagged behind in development and promised that, if voted to power, he would ensure development, honest administration and dignity for them.
He said states in western India had progressed more comparitively because they were "untouched by the Third Front".
"The Third Front will make India third grade and we need to reject them forever," he said.
"Those sitting in Delhi and talking about the Third Front should come here and see which way the wind is blowing,” he said, referring to the large turnout at the rally.
He said there was no reason why West Bengal should lag behind other states in areas like agriculture, education and employment.
He said various parties remembered the poor and the minorities only at the time of elections. "I want to ask these secular leaders of West Bengal, why is the Haj quota for West Bengal less than Gujarat?”
“When polls come they do two things- talk of the poor and sing songs of secularism. Those who shout about secularism have failed to see minorities as individuals, they see them as mere vote banks," he said.
He said that, instead of giving jobs to local youth, the government was more interested in providing livelihood to Bangladeshis, referring to the influx of people from Bangladesh.
“Influx from Bangladesh is worrying people, be it in Assam or here. People of India have the first right to resources and development,” he said.
See News Videos