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Working to ensure money looted from poor in Bengal, attached by ED returned to them: PM Modi

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NEW DELHI/ KOLKATA, March 27: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that he is working to ensure that nearly Rs 3,000 crore “looted” from poor people in West Bengal and attached by the Enforcement Directorate is returned to them.

Modi made this assertion in a telephonic conversation with Amrita Roy, a member of erstwhile royalty and BJP candidate against TMC’s Mahua Moitra in Krishnanagar Lok Sabha constituency, and claimed that power and not country is the priority of opposition parties.

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“PM Modi told ‘Rajmata’ Amrita Roy that he is exploring legal options to ensure that the money looted from the poor goes back to them through whatever assets and money the ED has attached from the corrupt,” a BJP leader said.

According to the details of the conversation shared by the party, the prime minister put the amount of money, which was paid by people in the state as bribe for getting jobs, at Rs 3,000 crore.

He told her to inform people about his stand and asserted that soon after coming back to power he will find a way, including making legal provisions if needed, to do so.

Modi also took a swipe at the Congress for its support to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal following his arrest by the ED in a corruption case, saying those who made complaint against the AAP have now changed track to help it. He, though, did not name anyone.

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“This shows that their priority is not country but power,” he said, asserting that the BJP-led alliance is fighting for a corruption-free country for the bright future of the youth while all the corrupt have come together on the other side to save each other.

With Roy tracing her lineage to 18th century local king Krishnachandra Roy, Modi hit back at those who have targeted the erstwhile royalty for its alleged support to the British after the BJP named her its candidate.

She told Modi that her family is being called traitors and noted that Krishnachandra Roy worked for people and joined hands with other kings to save “Sanatan Dharma”.

He asked her to not take any pressure, saying that they (TMC) practice vote bank politics and will make all kinds of wild allegations. They do so to hide their sins, he said.

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On the one hand, they seek evidence of Lord Ram’s existence while on the other they cite incidents dating back to two and three centuries to defame others, he said.

“This is their double standards,” Modi said, praising the king’s legacy of social reforms and development and asking her to carry forward his legacy.

Expressing confidence of her win, he asked Roy to be ready with the agenda for the first 100 days for her constituency.

He also expressed confidence that West Bengal will vote for “Parivartan” (change) in the state.

The alleged corruption of the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress leaders is one of the main planks of the BJP in the state, as it has highlighted the arrest of some of them, including former minister Partha Chatterjee, and recovery of large amounts of money and other assets from them to target its rivals.

“You have the challenge to save Bengal’s heritage,” he told her.

She said people have expressed their confidence in the Modi government’s work and told her that Moitra, the incumbent TMC MP from the constituency, will go to jail, drawing laughter from the prime minister.

Moitra is facing probe in a corruption case for allegedly allowing a businessman to use her parliamentary log-in in return of bribe and other favours.

She has termed the businessman her friend and refuted the corruption charges, blaming the BJP for it.

Roy told Modi that people during her campaign have spoken about corruption and unkept promises of the state government.

Later while speaking to reporters, Roy thanked the Prime Minister for his “encouragement”. “It seems I now have a new josh (enthusiasm). His words were really very encouraging and inspiring. I will do my best to ensure the victory of the BJP from this seat,” she said.

The TMC dubbed the phone calls by the Prime Minister to BJP’s women’s candidates as a “well-scripted drama” ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

“It is nothing but drama on the part of the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. We would also like to hear similar telephonic conversations with the women in Manipur, and family members of the victims of Hathras in Uttar Pradesh,” TMC leader Kunal Ghosh said.

The BJP had won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2019 in what was seen as a surge in its fortunes and it is looking to boost its tally this time round. (PTI)





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