In a no-holds barred attack on Mamata Banerjee and her government in West Bengal, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today warned of strict action in the Saradha scam issue after formation of government at the Centre.
"I want to tell all the investors in Saradha from Odisha, Bengal and Assam that I announce from this meeting ground that after the formation of the government in Delhi, strict action will be taken on this," Modi said at an election rally here.
"Saradha is the other name of Saraswati, she is worshipped everywhere, and this Saradha turned into a chit fund? Mamataji, we did not expect this from you," Modi said.
"Personally, I have always respected you. But what have you done, you have broken the dreams of the people of Bengal," Modi said.
"So much lust for the chair? The people of Bengal had so much expectations from you and gave you so much love, and you could have done so much for the state, but you are doing what the Left had been doing.
"You are walking on their footsteps only. You have imbibed the bad things of both the Left and the Congress," said Modi, who had in the beginning gone soft on Banerjee, but stepped up his attack on her recently.
Turning to the large gathering, Modi asked whether those involved in the scam should be punished and whether the sufferers should not be paid back their investments.
Taking on P Chidambaram, Modi said, "You are the finance minister of the country, who are you trying to shield, who are you helping? Mamataji and Chidambaramji, the people of Bengal want to know who are you together trying to save? "I want to draw your attention that owing to some people, your image is getting sullied. This is not good for you and not for the country's democracy also," he said.
Sarcastically lauding Banerjee's talent for painting, Modi said, "Your paintings used to be sold for Rs four lakh, Rs 8 lakh or Rs 15 lakh, but what is the reason that one of your paintings sold for Rs 1.80 crore. I respect art. But who was the person who bought the painting for Rs 1.80 crore." "Who all have bought her paintings, for what price they bought it, suddenly how they found out your talent, this the people of Bengal want to know.
"If for this your image has suffered blemishes, then the people of Bengal, who are known to be ardent lovers of art, where art is worshipped, then the people of Bengal will not tolerate if art is sold in the hands of thieves," he said.