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Goons threatening women of Sandeshkhali, TMC trying every trick to protect culprits: Modi

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Barrackpore/Hooghly/Arambagh/Howrah (WB), May 12 (PTI) Accusing the Trinamool Congress of indulging in vote-bank politics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday alleged that "goons of the ruling party" were threatening the "tormented women" of Sandeshkhali, where allegations of sexual abuse against TMC leaders have surfaced, to protect the culprits.

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Modi alleged that under the TMC rule, Hindus have become "second-class citizens" in West Bengal and asserted that "as long as there is Modi, no one can repeal the CAA".

Suggesting that the performance of the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls would be at an all-time low, the prime minister claimed that the grand old party will get fewer seats than the age of its 'shehzada', in a dig at Rahul Gandhi who is in his early fifties.

"All of us have seen what the TMC has done to the sisters and mothers of Sandeshkhali. First, the police tried to save the culprits, now the TMC goons are threatening the sisters, just because the oppressor's name is Shajahan Sheikh... They are trying to protect him from legal action. Don't be afraid of TMC," he said at an election rally in Barrackpore.

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Addressing his second rally in Hooghly, Modi said, "TMC is using every trick in Sandeshkhali, but none of the oppressors will be spared." His remarks come in the backdrop of multiple purported videos surfacing on social media that claimed that a local BJP party leader made several women of Sandeshkhali sign on blank papers which were later filled up as complaints of sexual assault against TMC leaders. The PM, however, did not directly refer to those videos.

PTI could not independently verify the authenticity of those videos.

Claiming that under the TMC regime, West Bengal has turned into a centre of "corruption" and a "cottage industry of bomb-making," Modi alleged that the state's ruling dispensation has surrendered to vote-bank politics.

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"While Modi talks about water in every household, TMC talks about bombs in every household," he said.

Referring to recent remarks attributed to TMC MLA Humayun Kabir in Murshidabad district, Modi said, "A TMC leader said they will throw Hindus into the Bhagirathi River... Where do they get the audacity to say such things?" "TMC has surrendered to vote-bank politics in West Bengal, where you cannot even mention the name of Lord Shri Ram or celebrate Ram Navami. Hindus have been become second-class citizens in West Bengal," he alleged.

The PM slammed the opposition bloc INDIA and the Congress for "supporting" the "vote jihad" comments allegedly made by a candidate of the Samajwadi Party (SP), an ally of the grand old party in Uttar Pradesh.

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Criticising the TMC for opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in West Bengal, Modi said, "CAA is a law to give citizenship to victims; it does not take away anyone's citizenship. But parties like Congress and TMC have painted it with the colour of their lies." In a bid to reach out to the Matua community, who are expected to benefit most from the law, he said, "As long as there is Modi, no one can repeal the CAA." Mocking the grand old party, he said, "The Congress will get fewer seats in the Lok Sabha polls than the age of its 'shehzada'. After three phases of polls, it can be said with certainty that the BJP-led NDA would win over 400 seats." "This 400-plus seat target is no longer a slogan but a resolve of the nation. Neither can the TMC form the government, nor can it do anything in the opposition. The Congress and the Left too can't form the government. Only the BJP-led NDA can provide you with a stable and strong government," he said.

Asserting that nobody can provide reservations based on religion, he guaranteed the people of West Bengal that "reservations for SC, ST, and OBC will not be touched. Nobody can stop you from celebrating Ram Navami. Nobody can stop the implementation of CAA.".

"Whether the Congress, Left or any other party of the INDIA bloc, all of them have made corruption their common character. While many INDIA bloc parties indulge in corruption secretly, TMC does it openly," he alleged, adding, "TMC has made corruption a full-time business." He alleged that the TMC's agenda is "welfare of illegal immigrants" and not that of the people of West Bengal.

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"They call people of India as 'bohiragoto' (outsiders), but illegal immigrants from other countries are given sway in West Bengal. In many areas, the original inhabitants have become minorities," he alleged.

Modi claimed Congress and TMC are competition for appeasement.

Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi without taking his name, Modi alleged that 'shehzada' wants to probe the assets of the country's citizens and INDIA bloc wants to give away the people's earnings to those who do "vote jihad" for them.

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"When you club Congress's corruption, family culture and appeasement are one side and the Left's atrocities and anarchy on the other, you get TMC," he said.

Speaking at another rally in Arambagh in Hooghly district, the PM said, "TMC thinks it has a monopoly over Bengali culture, but the truth is that this is the land of Maa Durga and Maa Kali." He claimed that in West Bengal, it has become a crime to take the name of Ram Mandir.

"There is no freedom of expression under the TMC rule," he alleged, adding that opposition and independent voices were being stifled.

Modi said that even if someone jocularly shares a post or a cartoon on social media in the state, he is also not spared and his life is made miserable. PTI PNT/AMR NN ACD

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