4:53 pm - Tuesday May 24, 5408

Mamata dares Modi on Bangladeshi migrants issue

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Saturday dared BJP prime ministerial candidate, to implement his promise of sending Bangladeshi’s packing after May 16 if his party came to power, saying that the ‘paper tiger’ should first meet the ‘Royal Bengal Tiger’.

“Touch a single person, we will see. The paper tiger should know there is a Royal Bengal tiger in Sunderbans. First you face that,” Banerjee, the chief minister, told an election meeting here.

MamataClaiming that the Gujarat chief minister did not know history, she said that Bangladeshis came to India under a pact signed in 1971 by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Bangladesh President Sheikh Mujibur Rehman.

“He does not know that speaking in Bangla does not make one a Bangladeshi. Anyone who speaks in Bangla across India is branded a Bangladesh. This is discrimination,” she said alleging that Modi wanted to divide Bengalis and non-Bengalis.

At a rally in Serampore on Sunday, Modi had said that Bangladeshis should be ready to pack their bags after May 16, the date of counting for the Lok Sabha elections.

She reiterated that one who did not follow secularism could not become the Prime Minister.

Banerjee also dismissed BJP President Rajanath Singh’s overture of a ‘handsome package” to West Bengal if the NDA came to power, saying she did not want it, but interest on loans being deducted by the Centre should be returned.

“We do not want a package. We do not want alms. We want return of money deducted by the Centre forcibly for the loans taken by the previous Left Front government,” she said.

She claimed that the Centre deducted Rs one lakh crore as interest from the state.

Seeking to reach out to the Trinamool Congress Rajnath Singh at an election meeting at Naihati yesterday had said that a ‘handsome package’ would be given for the development of West Bengal if his party formed the next government.

The BJP chief’s overture to Banerjee came a few days after the two parties locked horns over Narendra Modi’s attack on the TMC chief on April 27 at a poll rally in Serampore in Hooghly district.