Addressing his first election rally in Bengal after the announcement of poll dates, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the people to vote out the corrupt regime of Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress. “Next 25 years are very important for the development of Bengal. Its foundation will be laid in these polls... the corrupt regime of Didi will come to an end on May 2”, said Shri Modi. Launching a frontal attack on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Shri Modi said that people had voted Didi to power with a lot of hope in 2011. But she confined herself to the wellbeing of her nephew and abandoned the people who voted her to power. It is widely alleged that the nephew of the chief minister, Abhishek Banerjee, interferes a lot in the government and nothing happens in the party without his approval. After more than three-decades-long misrule of the Communists, people had hoped that Didi would fulfil their dreams of Sonar Bangla. But, she only furthered the culture of commission, arson, corruption and misrule. Shri Modi said that he had come to the Brigade Parade Ground of Kolkata to assure the people of Bengal that the Bharatiya Janata Party would work round the clock to fulfil the dreams of youth, peasants, workers and women. “Our ideology will be developed for all, appeasement of none”, he said. Popular actor and social worker Mithun Chakraborty joined the Bharatiya Janata Party just before the arrival of the prime minister in Bengal. The Left, which ruled Bengal for more than three decades, has joined hands with the Congress party for the polls. Shri Modi said, “In this poll, the fight is between Congress & Left and TMC on one side and people on the other side.” Referring to an incident where the 82-year old mother of a BJP worker was brutally attacked by the TMC workers, Shri Modi said, “The picture of the old mother has shown the cruel face of the ruling party to the country.” The Trinamool Congress has been campaigning aggressively to project this poll battle as the fight between the ‘Daughter of Bengal Vs Outsiders’. Referring to the TMC’s poll campaign, Shri Modi said, “The Congress was founded by a foreigner. TMC is an off-shoot of the same party. The Left’s ideology is borrowed from foreigners. But the BJP’s foundation is of Bengali origin. The party is inspired and guided by Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the great son of Bengal.” He reminded the people about the great cultural tradition of Bengal. The opposition parties have been accusing the prime minister of working for his friends. Recounting his childhood, Shri Modi said that he was born in a poor family and poor people are his friends. And there is nothing wrong with working for the betterment of poor people. “I don’t need to read books or watch videos to understand poverty. I’ve lived it. Poor people are at the centre of all my schemes”, he said. Reminding the people of the power of votes, he said, “The power of your silent vote in Lok Sabha polls was visible from Kashmir to Ayodhya.” The Bharatiya Janata Party had won 18 of 42 seats in Bengal in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Suvendu Adhikari, who had quit the Mamata Banerjee government recently and joined BJP, said the TMC was only concerned about the betterment of one family. He is contesting against the chief minister from Nandigram. It is estimated that about 10 lakh people attended the rally today. In a recent protest march, Chief Minister Banerjee was riding a scooter and was saved from falling off at the very last minute. Shri Modi said if she would have fallen, she would have blamed the state where the scooty was manufactured. He added, “Her scooty took a turn for Nandigram, rather than going to Bhawanipur. We can’t help if her scooty falls in Nandigram.” Banerjee has left her traditional seat of Bhawanipur for Nandigram in this poll.
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Various Hindu ashrams and prominent monks in Kerala have formed the Kerala Dharmacharya Sabha (KDS), a forum to form an authoritative opinion on all issues confronting the community. The body has a 23-member executive committee comprising swamis and priests. A meeting held in Kochi was attended by representatives of leading ashrams and institutions. Swami Chidananda Puri of Advaithashramam in Kozhikode was elected the KDS chairman, while Mullappally Krishnan Namboodiri of Tantric Vidya Peedho ...