Uma Bharti accuses Mamata Banerjee of fanning fundamentalism, leadership failure
Kolkata : Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti on Friday went all guns blazing at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, accusing her of fanning fundamentalism and politics of hatred, while falling to provide leadership to implement development projects.
On a day's whirlwind trip to the state, during which she attended both official meetings and political programmes, she termed as "baseless" the state government's allegations that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was trying to inflict violence by conducting armed rallies in the name of religious celebrations.
"These allegations are baseless. They don't make any sense. Mamata Banerjee is intentionally doing fundamentalist politics. She is propagating the politics of hatred," Uma Bharti told the media after a rally in West Bengal's Howrah district.
She said that rallies on the occasion of Ram Navmi and Hanuman Jayanti were part of age-old traditions of Hinduism.
"Such rallies are a part of our age-old traditions. If the law and order situation in the region is good, police can monitor such rallies without any problems. Rallies like these were conducted earlier as well," she claimed.
Uma Bharti accused Banerjee of appeasing one community and promoting communalism in the state.
"Mamata is trying to appease just one community in the state. She is doing politics of communalism to retain her power," she claimed.
Uma Bharti also asserted that her will form the government in West Bengal "with a clear majority" in the next assembly polls.
"The people of the state are voting for BJP now as they can see a clear alternative to the Trinamool. Slowly people would stop considering Mamata Banerjee as an alternative. Then the BJP would come to power with a clear majority," she said.
Uma Bharti's comments came a day after the BJP displaced the Left Front to take the second place in the Kanti Dakshin assembly by-polls comfortably won by the Trinamool.
Turning to administrative matters, Uma Bharti alleged that Banerjee has failed to guide the state bureaucrats.
"They (the state government officials) are under an illusion. They have no guidance, no leadership. There is nobody to guide them because Mamata has badly propagated politics of hatred in Bengal. She has not propagated politics of development," she said.
The Minister said the lack of guidance is responsible for the state's "poor condition".
"That is why Bengal's people, IAS and IPS officers, engineers have lost the concept of development, good law and order... they have lost their brilliance and their impact and this is why Bengal is in shambles," she said.
Criticising the projects that are implemented by the state government, Uma Bharti said she is "frustrated" with the execution of the irrigation schemes.
"People in Bengal are not getting the benefits of the Central schemes. I am myself frustrated with the irrigation schemes because whenever they develop a project, there are a lot of gaps and we can't release funds for it.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was also in the city, appeared much more restrained in criticising the state government, but nevertheless echoed Uma Bharti in saying said his party would form the government next time.
"Agli bar BJP sarkar (Next time, there will be BJP government). Kanthi Dakshin bypoll election made the indication clear that BJP is making progress."
Rajnath Singh, sought cooperation from the state government, but complained it had not codified the rules of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA).
Rubbishing Uma Bharti's claims, Trinamool Secretary General Partha Chatterjee said the state has seen "unprecedented development" since his party came to power.
He urged the central government to release the fund for the state that has been stopped so far.
"Bengal has been flooded with Mamata Banerjee's developmental initiatives in the last six years. I would once again ask the Central government to think about the betterment of the state and release the funds for various state welfare projects that has been stopped by them," Chatterjee said.
"The state government is in favour of progress and development. We are always there for the betterment of people," he added.