In what may suggest the changing political headwinds in hitherto TMC-dominated Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Thakurganj had to be curtailed as the venue burst around the seams and a restive crowd could no more be handled.

The prime minister, while he kicked off BJP’s electoral campaign in a Bengal that has so far seen a brewing bloody struggle between the dominant TMC and an upbeat BJP, asked the ever-swelling tumultuous crowd that constantly gravitated towards the podium amid chaos for the want of space to be patient. Thanking them for this kind of groundswell and the “love” it reflected, PM Modi shortened his speech, which received an overwhelming reception.

The Prime Minister cut short his speech, but not before he had warned Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government to support the Citizenship Bill in Parliament and let it become law.

“India gained independence by getting fragmented. People thought they could carry on their livelihoods where they were even after division. But due to communal suppression they were distressed. This is why people had to flee their respective countries and come to India. People poured in from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Time after time, waves of Sikhs, Hindus, Jains and Parsis had to flee to India. These people have no home, but Hindustan. Now tell me whether these people should find a place, a home in Hindustan?” he asked the crowd.

“What is their crime? And that is why we have brought in the Citizenship Bill. I call upon TMC to support the bill in Parliament and let it pass. The country was divided and their lives were destroyed,” the PM added.   

Earlier, PM Modi also reminded the people of the mega welfare schemes launched in the Budget 2019-20 a day before. He mentioned the Kisan Samman Nidhi and the Sharmyogi Mandhan schemes. “The money will be transferred in the accounts of the farmers directly. Now, there is no scope for middlemen. Now, do you understand why Modi was so hell bent upon getting everyone to have bank accounts in the country,” the PM said.

“I can understand now after seeing this massive groundswell, why Didi is hell bent on violence. It is your love that has forced the fake saviours of democracy to murder innocent people. As I had said, this budget was just a beginning. After election when the full budget is presented, the picture for the development of students, youths, farmers and workers will become all the more clear.”

The PM lambasted the “politics of loan waivers”.

“The politics of loan waivers for farmers has taken them for a ride and exploited them. Political parties, for the sake of elections, waive loans, but only a few farmers are benefitted. Small and marginal farmers are not benefitted at all. Even the beneficiaries again slip into the vicious circle of debts after sometime,” PM Modi said.

“In a few states, of late elections were fought on loan waivers. But see what is happening: loans of such farmers are being waived who never took loans. Those who had taken loans were promised waiver of Rs 2.5lakh, but the sstate government waived Rs 13. This is the story of Madhya Pradesh.”

“In Rajasthan, the government has just thrown in the towel. They are saying they were not aware that the loan waiver would put such pressure on the government,” the PM said.