Union home minister Amit Shah has been holding a series of virtual rallies since last Sunday. This is the ruling BJP’s latest strategy to reach out to people after the completion of Modi 2.0’s first year. What are these virtual rallies all about?
Shah has addressed Bihar, Odisha and Bengal in his three virtual rallies from Sunday. No stage, no crowd, no loudspeakers. But the BJP trained guns at the opposition in their usual style.
The highlights of the three Jansamvad rallies by Shah
First rally – Bihar
- Shah said major issues, not touched for 70 years, were resolved during Modi 2.0’s first year. Bihar’s growth zoomed from mere 3.9% under RJD rule to 11.3% as Nitish Kumar took charge. Though Shah claimed that the virtual rally had nothing to do with Bihar elections, but about people’s fight against Covid-19, it doesn’t convince us.
- Bihar will go to the polls in October this year, isn’t it an attempt to sound the poll bugle? Yes it is. Shah thanked the nation for their united fight against Covid-19 as per the PM’s appeal. He claimed that with the Centre’s initiative, over 1 crore migrant workers have reached their home safely.
- Here we have to say, Mr Shah, please don’t use the word “safely”. Tragic death of migrants on their way home doesn’t corroborate your statement. As usual, the home minister took a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over the Covid-19 crisis. “The Opposition is doing politics, what did they do for people?” Shah asked. He patted Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and his team for their fight against Covid-19. Shah also expressed confidence that the NDA alliance will get two-third majority in the Bihar polls.
We have a question here. Is anyone in India thinking of the polls now amid 2.6 lakh Covid-19 cases? Anyway!
Second rally – Odisha
- Shah addressed the Odisha rally on Monday and claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all for the state. He said around 28 lakh poor families of Odisha are the direct beneficiaries of the Centre’s welfare schemes.
- Odisha faced neglect during the Congress’s rule at the Centre. “The Centre gave Rs 2.11 lakh crore to Odisha between 2014 and 2019 since Modi came to power. Whereas the UPA regime didn’t spend beyond Rs 79,486 crore for the state,” Shah said, according to a report on The Times of India. But did the BJP really bring major difference in the lives of the people of Odisha?
- “Yeh Modiji ki sarkar hai, jo bolte hain woh karke dikhaate hain” (This is Modiji’s rule, he does what he promises) Shah said the Centre stood beside the people of Odisha among crises like Covid-19, cyclones Fani and Amphan and didn’t abandon them like the Congress did during 1999 super cyclone.
Okay Mr Shah, but didn’t our Prime Minister promise that the “corona war would be won in just 21 days”? And it’s been 77 days we’re down with surging cases, flattened GDP and endless misery.
Third rally – Bengal
Mamata Didi, you have insulted our poor migrant Bengali brothers and sisters, who wanted to get back to their homes, by calling Shramik Express as Corona Express.
I want to assure you, Mamata didi, that these words of insult will become TMC’s Exit Express from Bengal. pic.twitter.com/bW6LzBThGl
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) June 9, 2020
- Now this one was more of launching scathing verbal attacks on a state chief than addressing people from a rally. Shah on Tuesday lauded the people of Bengal for their resolve against corona and Amphan but accused chief minister Mamata Banerjee of playing political game over the rights of the poor.
- He claimed that Bengal is the only state in India where political violence is propagated by the state leadership. Shah urged the people of Bengal to “give Modiji a chance to ensure corruption and violence-free Bengal”.
- Mr Shah, the urban middle-class people of Bengal are having a harrowing time looking for a public transport on way to work. Scanty number of buses but 100% attendance rule at office are taking their lives. While the rural population is still reeling under the cyclone after effects. Their immediate needs are safe water, a roof, food, medicines, sanitary napkins etc. So we’ll think about politics when we’re a bit better placed. Thank you!
- The home minister also slammed Mamata for tagging Shramik special trains “corona express”. Shah even claimed that Mamata and her party would have to leave Bengal on that “corona express”. Well Mr Shah, that depends a lot on your BJP Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh and his controversial statements.
As usual the speech of @AmitShah Ji was all rhetoric and no substance.
Nonetheless since he has talked about his dream of seeing ‘EXIT’ of TMC, I would like to ask him one more time – “When are the Chinese EXITING our territory”#BengalRejectsAmitShah
— Abhishek Banerjee (@abhishekaitc) June 9, 2020
- Bengal may not be happy under Didi’s rule, but the state people are not convinced by the BJP’s promises either. What the state thinks of the BJP was clearly reflected during attack on Union minister Babul Supriyo on the Jadavpur University campus last year. Also, Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who is often considered as the “BJP spokesperson” for his public statements, puts up a poor show for the saffron party.
We’ve all seen how people change when they are placed in power position. Those having their alliance with Didi, might just switch to the BJP if and when required. Because it is the question of survival. We’re amazed to see how you switched on the politics button Mr Shah amid the pandemic and natural disasters!