Modi lambasts Third Front

February 06, 2014 - 8:15:45 am
Kolkata: The BJP’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi yesterday lambasted any possible Third Front, but went soft on West Bengal chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in an apparent bid to keep open the doors on an alliance with the Trinamool Congress.

Launching the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lok Sabha campaign in the state at a rally in the Brigade Parade grounds here, Modi said West Bengal would benefit if people voted for the BJP in the general election while Banerjee continued to usher in development in the state.

He, however, also made a veiled criticism of the Banerjee regime by asking the people whether they have got the “Parivartan” (change) that was promised, and urged them to seek answers from the ruling party about its performance.

Urging the masses to elect BJP candidates on all 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, Modi said Bengal cannot reap the full benefits of governance if only the state government works.

“For working for Bengal, you need your government in Delhi too. Give us a chance to serve Bengal. I will work for the state’s development. It will be a double bonanza for you. Mamataji here, and me sitting in Delhi. You will have laddoos in both hands,” he told the rally.

Dismissing the Third Front as one that would make India “third grade”, Modi called upon people to reject the concept.

“The Third Front will make India third grade and we need to reject them forever. Those talking about the Third Front in Delhi should come here and see which way the wind is blowing,” he said.

The Gujarat chief minister said the absence of the Third Front was the “most important” reason why the western part of India had seen development. “In the western side, none of the Third Front parties have ruled. No associate of the Third Front has ever been able to step into that region. It is different here in the eastern states, where the Third front parties have ruled. The result is lack of development,” he said.

Playing to Bengali sentiments, Modi invoked local icons like Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, and promised to help create a “Sonar Bangla” (golden age of Bengal).