Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress leadership on Sunday held a massive rally at Simulia in Purulia at the same venue, as a counter to the meeting held by BJP national president Amit Shah on Thursday.
The rally witnessed a huge gathering of people extending support to the TMC leaders, as they launched a scathing attack at Shah.
"At the time when CPI(M) had triggered the killings at Netai in Bengal, the Gujarat encounter had taken place. The case initiated by CBI in this connection would not have been withdrawn, if the kingpin behind the encounter would not have been in power in the Central government," said senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim, who is also the state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister.
Hakim urged the people of the state to join hands and take vow to stop the "separatist forces and riot mongers" from entering Bengal.
He also ridiculed the BJP president's claims of winning more than 22 Lok Sabha seats from Bengal in the 2019 General Elections and said that the saffron outfit would end up drawing a blank in 2019.
"He is talking about 22 Lok Sabha seats. Forget 22, they will lose even in the Darjeeling and Asansol seats, which they currently have. BJP will score a big zero in Bengal in the 2019 elections," Hakim maintained.
"The person who is a prime accused in many murder cases in Gujarat, is coming here to impart unrest and making tall claims.
He has no idea about Bengal's tradition, culture and prior situations. We want to clarify that there is no place for riot mongers in Bengal," he asserted.
The minister said people like Shah who come from Delhi or Gujarat, have no idea about the drastic change of situation at Jangalmahal that includes Purulia, during the Mamata Banerjee regime. "Earlier, it was a Maoist hotbed but now there is peace and tranquility," he added.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress leader and state Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari alleged that the rally of Shah at Purulia did not have the presence of local people and the saffron party had to bring in people from
neighbouring states like Bihar and Jharkhand.
Minister of state for Women and Child Development (independent charge) Shashi Panja mocked the 'Jan Sampark Abhiyan' of Shah and said that all these programmes had been exercises in futility.
"The residents of the houses that Shah had visited during such Abhiyans, have joined Trinamool Congress within a few days. The same had happened in case of his Purulia visit as well," Panja said.
It may be mentioned that members of two families from Purulia, whose houses were visited by the BJP national president on Thursday, had joined Trinamool Congress on Friday.