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Amit Shah dares Mamata Banerjee on her home-turf, says BJP will form next govt in West Bengal

FE Online

Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday launched a scathing attack on Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee for her months-long campaign against the amended citizenship law. Addressing a rally on CAA, Amit Shah said that the chief minister should be careful as the BJP would soon form the government in West Bengal. Referring to the 18 out of 42 seats in the state that his party won in the Lok Sabha polls held in 2019, the home minister said: "When we were in the elections in Bengal, Mamta didi used to say – save your deposit. Mamta ji see this figure (18 MPs), now the BJP government is going to be formed in Bengal with full majority in upcoming assembly elections."

Amit Shah is on a day-long visit to Bengal to dispel fears and clear the air over CAA, which Mamata Benerjee has been vehemently opposing and has announced that she would not implement it in her state. Taking on the chief minister on CAA, Shah said that Mamata Banerjee had raised the issue of citizenship to refugees when she was in the opposition. "But when PM Modi brought the CAA, she is standing with the Congress and Communists to oppose this law." He further said that the opposition leaders are filling the minorities with fear that they will lose their citizenship.

Shah then said that the BJP was starting a campaign - Aar Noi Annay (no more injustice). He said that this campaign was the fight to defeat "autocratic forces" in Bengal. The home minister further added that he wanted to tell every Bengali that the people won’t accept any injustice anymore. He also said that the journey which started today will end only when the BJP forms the government after assembly elections with a two-thirds majority.

In the last parliamentary polls, the BJP won 18 of 42 seats with 40.23 per cent vote share - over 22 per cent higher than what it had recorded in 2014. Mamata Banerjee’s TMC bagged 22 seats but its vote share was just marginally above at 43.28 per cent. Buoyed by the success in the general elections, Amit Shah is hoping to put up a tough fight in the assembly elections which is expected to take place in April-May 2021. However, state elections are quite different from the parliamentary polls and a lot depends on prevailing local issues and the chief ministerial face.

In 2016 assembly polls, Mamata Banerjee had won 211 of 294 seats with close to 45 per cent vote share. The BJP, on the other hand, could win only three seats but its vote share had jumped to over 10 per cent from 6 per cent in 2012.