Ahead of the Bengal polls, BJP and Trinamool on Tuesday, faced off to claim Swami Vivekananda's legacy - on his birth anniversary. Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee held a rally from Kolkata's Golpark to Hazra, lashing out at the BJP for 'not recognising Swami Vivekananda'. On the other hand, TMC-turned-BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari held a rally at Durgapur, claiming that 'Bengal must be free of TMC' while remembering Swami Vivekananda's Chicago rally.
"Today I will not speak anything political. Other political parties have done rally today - if we compare with it, TMC wins it with 10-0 goal. In 2014, those who portrayed Swamiji, saying Achhe Din Aayenge and winning elections, have not even given recognition to Belur Math once. Bengalis will never forget it. In Gujarat, they built the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel statue investing Rs 3500 crores. We respect Sardar Ji, why not build Swami Ji's statue in Kolkata?" asked Banerjee.
He added, "Those who wanted to divide us in the name of religion, Bengal will not let you to do it. This is not Gujrat, MP, Bihar, or Rajasthan. Our CM Mamata followed the path of Swamiji and worked for the people, which none of the CMs across the country have done. BJP speaks about Swamiji, but they don't have the right to. They speak dual-language, 'Mukh mein Ram aur Karma mein' (Ram's name on their lips, Nathuram in their actions)."
Meanwhile, addressing a rally at Durgapur, Adhikari said that it was an important day for the BJP - celebrating Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary. Stating that Swamiji has raised the status of India in Chicago, he lashed out at Trinamool - claiming it had turned into a 'private company'. Echoing his 'Bhaipo Hatao' call, he said that the Trinamool government was usurping the Centre's schemes - referring to Mamata's own health care plan, rejecting 'Ayushman Bharat'.
"Thousands of people have joined today. Today is a very important day for us as it is Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary. Swamiji had been to Chicago where he had raised the status of India in front of the whole world," he said adding, "I had been with TMC since many years, but I realised that it had turned that it into a private company from a party. Then I decided to join the biggest party. We have to protest against the trend of usurping the Centre's schemes."
The saffron party is gearing for a tough battle in Bengal - aiming to attain more than 200 seats, while not fielding a CM face yet. The BJP had already politically divided Bengal into five parts - North Bengal, Rath Bang (South Western District), Nabadwip, Medinipur and Kolkata, handpicking Shivprakash, Sunil Deodhar, Dushyant Gautam, Bhikubhai Dalsania, Ravindra Raju, Vinod Sonkar, Harish Dwivedi to ta work on booth levels in these regions. With over 65,000 booth committees and 14,000 Shakti Kendra constituted, the BJP has appointed five veterans as central observers - with the final call to be taken by Amit Shah. Trinamool currently holds 222 seats in the 294-seat assembly, which will go to polls on April-May.