Bankura: Terming Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent visit to a tribal family in West Bengal’s Bankura, a “show-off”, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday alleged that the lunch he had there was prepared somewhere else by a “Brahmin cook”.
Also alleging that the home minister didn’t even know how tribal freedom fighter Birsa Munda looked like as he garlanded a wrong statue of him there, the chief minister announced that the state government would declare holiday on Munda’s birth anniversary on November 15.
Addressing a state government event in Khatra area of tribal-dominated Bankura district, Banerjee hit out at Shah, saying a few days ago he visited Bengal for show-off. “Dikhane ke liye kuch din pahle mannaniya grih mantri Amit Shah aaye the. Unhone ek Dalit familly ke yahan khana khaya tha (Shan came here and had lunch at a Dalit home for show-off),” she said in Hindi, alleging “the food was brought from outside and cooked by a Brahmin.”
“There were visuals that the Dalit family was cutting cabbage and coriander, but none of these was seen (on his plate). He had eaten Basmati rice, posta bora (poppy seed fritters),” she said, adding after having lunch he went away. “There was a child suffering from Thalassemia or some disease whom he didn’t meet”.
During a two-day visit to West Bengal earlier this month, Shah met the family in Chaturthi village of Bankura and had food with them on November 5.
Banerjee added that Shah even garlanded a statue of a hunter, thinking it to be that of tribal freedom fight fighter Munda.
“Shah had garlanded a statue thinking it to be of Birsa Munda… Later, it was known that it was of a hunter. But my Ma, Mati, Manus (TMC slogan) workers will ensure that Birsa Munda’s statute is installed here. In fact, the state government will announce holiday on Birsa Munda’s anniversary from next year. It will be updated in the state’s holiday list,” she said.
Also accusing the BJP of defaming her Trinamool Congress (TMC) for one per cent wrong people, she said 99 per cent of them are good. “They defame us for just one per cent wrong men in TMC that too those who came from the CPI(M).”
She also took on the Centre for the amendment to the Essential Commodities Act, from which potatoes and onions have been excluded. Referring to the Centre as “aaloo ki sarkar (Government of potatoes), Banerjee alleged that it is ensuring that “you can’t even eat a meal of rice and potatoes”.
But, she said, the state government would extend the free foodgrain scheme beyond June 2021, earlier announced, as she was confident of “forming the government after next Assembly polls”.
She also asked the people not to vote for the BJP as the central government was giving the financial benefits to the poor from their money only.