Hitting out at the ruling Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal, Defence Minister Rajanath Singh on Thursday said that the state is living in the 19th century because of decades of misrule by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and Left parties.
"When entire India is living in a new century, the 21st century, West Bengal is living in the 19th century. This is all because of decades of misrule by the Left parties and TMC," Singh said while addressing an election rally in Joypur district on the last day of campaigning before the first phase of voting set to take place on Saturday.
He also hit out at the TMC government over the water issue in the state and promised that every household will get water by the end of 2024 under the 'Jal Jeevan Mission' Scheme.
"I am absolutely sure that BJP will win more than 200 seats in the elections. The people of West Bengal want to ask Mamata Di that what has she done for them in the last 20 years. Water is a major issue in this region. But I assure you all that every house will get water by the end of 2024 under 'Jal Jeevan Mission' Scheme," he said.
Citing the 13th Finance Commission, the Defence minister said that West Bengal was given Rs 1.32 lakh crores during UPA II regime which was increased to Rs 4.32 lakh crore during the NDA government and asked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee -- "where has the money gone?"
Singh also promised that if voted to power in the state, the government would provide 33 per cent reservation for women in jobs, increase the widow pension to Rs 3,000, ASHA workers' salary from Rs 450 to Rs 600 and start a comprehensive skill development programme to train 20 lakh youth.
"After forming the government in West Bengal, we will launch a Machhuare Samman Nidhi Yojana from which four lakh fishermen of Bengal will get Rs 6,000 annually just like (farmers do from) the Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana," he added.
TMC and BJP are at loggerheads ahead of the assembly elections in West Bengal.
The first phase of the assembly polls will be kicked off on Saturday. In the first phase, 30 seats covering all assembly constituencies from the districts of Purulia and Jhargram and a segment of Bankura, Purba Medinipur and Paschim Medinipur will go for polls.
Elections to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
( With inputs from ANI )
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