Kolkata: Union home minister Amit Shah virtually flagged off BJP’s campaign for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls in Kolkata last week, harping on the Centre’s resolve to implement provisions of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, saying “Hindu refugees” had a right to this land.
Speaking at a rally in the heart of the city, Shah emphasised that CAA would be enforced. “CAA is a law. We will enforce CAA. Hindu refugees have a right to this land, like you and I have,” he said. Shah did not mention any dates, but his comments come three days after junior home minister Ajay Mishra told members of the Matua community in Bengal that the rules would be framed by March next year.
The home minister said he was confident of BJP forming the government in Bengal in 2026 with a two-thirds majority. “But, before that, there is the 2024 Lok Sabha election,” he reminded his listeners.
“Last time, you gave 18 seats to BJP. I appeal to you to vote for Modi Ji in such large numbers that the seats given by you become enough to elect him as Prime Minister,” Shah said, before taking aim at TMC and other opposition parties and making a pitch for BJP.
Shah accused the Mamata Banerjee government of taking “Bengal backwards”, raising allegations of cut money, syndicates, rising political killings and infiltration. He exhorted Bengal’s voters to “express their disgust” by voting for BJP. “Has she delivered on her promise of change? Has infiltration ended? Has appeasement ended? Has political violence ended? Has corruption been eradicated? Modi Ji sends millions of funds for Bengal but the syndicates of Bengal never allow the funds to reach the poor. I have come here to appeal to the people of Bengal - if they want a BJP government in the state in 2026, they have to lay the foundation for it in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” he said.