BJP party president Amit Shah delivered an equal and opposite response to the Mamata Banerjee-led 'united opposition' rally's 'Modi hatao' warcry, while speaking at the BJP's mega-rally at Malda.
Despite controversies surrounding the hosting of the rally, Amit Shah not only pulled in a sizeable crowd, but also put up a fiery display, hitting out at the Trinamool Congress-led Mamata Banerjee government on a wide range of issues, including political violence and lawlessness, but especially over the issues of development and the recent opposition show-of-strength in Kolkata.
In perhaps the most aggressive part of his speech, he tied the two topics together along with nationalism and took aim at the Mamata-led front and the Congress for making their entire pitch about ousting PM Modi rather than for doing something for the progress of the country. He said:
"Friends, the BJP has come up with a host of programmes for the development of West Bengal, but no matter how much you do, it always falls short. Narendra Modi government gave a lot of money for Bengal. If you permit me, I'll tell you. Recently, Mamata Banerjee joined with the Congress enthusiastically in making a show of strength. Not one Bharat Mata Ki Jai was said. Was it said? Not one person said Vande Mataram. All they said was "Modi, Modi, Modi, Modi, Modi". They're not able to see anything else."
He went on to raise the cry of Bharat Mata Ki Jai multiple times, in an apparent show of defiance:
"This is a BJP rally Mamata Di, say what you want, I will raise Bharat Mata Ki slogan."
Shah then questioned the erstwhile UPA government's dedication towards the progress of West Bengal, saying:
"Friends, the UPA constituents were called by Mamata di. I want to ask her how much money was given by the UPA government for the state's development? Shouldn't Mamata Di ask? But she won't. I will tell you. The UPA-2 gave Rs 1.32 lakh crore for the development of Bengal. And how much did Narendra Modi give? There'll be a tax of applause, but I'll tell you. Rs 3,95,406 lakh crore." His pronouncement was indeed followed by mass applause.
A party that wasn't clapping at the end of the BJP president's speech, however, was the Trinamool Congress, which tweeted the following: