Union Minister Anurag Thakur on 5 January fired an intense jibe at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Member of Parliament, Abhishek Banerjee. Addressing a BJP function in the state, Thakur compared Abhishek with Arab sheikhs, hinting to the growing influence of the chief minister’s nephew in the TMC.
Anurag: Abhishek ab sheikh ho gaya hai
“When you go to countries like the UAE, you find sheikhs there. But here, Abhishek hi ab-sheikh ho gaya hai (Abhishek has now become a sheikh). There is no need to tell the people of Bengal, the entire world now knows how big a sheikh he has become,” Anurag said.
Thakur on Mamata’s ‘outsider’ jibe
Responding to the Mamata Banerjee’s outsiders remark, Anurag Thakur said those who are in power in West Bengal are talking of secluding the state and BJP will not allow this to happen. “On my arrival in Kolkata, I was asked ‘what will an outsider do in Bengal?’. This is the land of Tagore, Vivekanand, Bose who belong to the nation. Only those in power here are talking of secluding Bengal. We won’t let this thinking develop in Bengal,” the Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs said.
Mamata Banerjee has asserted that she will not let outsiders turn West Bengal into Gujarat and on 26 November, while addressing a press conference had said, “There is no place for outsiders in Bengal who come only during elections to incite violence. I say this place is not for outsiders. They come here only to do politics during elections.”
“If a central minister has become an outsider then who is an insider? The one who infiltrates has become an insider and we become an outsider. It is unfortunate,” Anurag Thakur said.
Earlier on 4 January, Thakur took a dig at the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal and said the state government should answer why businessmen are hesitant to invest in the state. “It is time for West Bengal to take a decision so that the state realises its own potential,” he said at an event organised by direct tax professionals in Kolkata.