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Monday, December 16, 2019

Modi in Bengal: PM claims 40 TMC MLAs in touch with him; Derek O’Brien accuses him of horse trading

"Didi (Mamata Banerjee), on May 23 when the results will come, lotus will bloom everywhere and your MLAs will leave you. Even today, Didi, 40 of your MLAs are in contact with me," PM Modi said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 29, 2019 9:46:16 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted by BJP leader Mukul Roy and party candidate from Barrackpore constituency Arjun Singh (R) during an election campaign. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday claimed that 40 Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLAs were “in touch with me” and that they would desert the party once BJP won the Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing a rally in Serampore in West Bengal, PM Modi said after May 23, when Lok Sabha results are due, the lotus would bloom everywhere. “Didi (Mamata Banerjee), on May 23 when the results will come, lotus will bloom everywhere and your MLAs will leave you. Even today, Didi, 40 of your MLAs are in contact with me,” PM Modi said.

Reacting to PM Modi’s remarks, TMC leader Derek O’Brien said the party would lodge a complaint with the Election Commission with charges of “horse trading” against the BJP.

“Expiry Babu PM, let’s get this straight. Nobody will go with you. Not even one councillor. Are you election campaigning or horse trading! Your expiry date is near. Today, we are complaining to the Election Commission. Charging you with horse trading,” he tweeted.

Last month, BJP leader Arjun Singh, who crossed over from the TMC, had also made similar claims. Singh had said about 100 Trinamool Congress MLAs would switch over to the saffron party “very soon”.

“Around 100 legislators from the ruling party are set to join the BJP. They are in touch with the BJP leaders on a regular basis. Some will join before the elections, the rest after,” he told reporters. Apart from Singh, two TMC MPs switched camp and joined BJP before the elections.

Accusing Mamata Banerjee of nepotism, PM Modi further said the actual intention of the TMC supremo was to politically establish her nephew in West Bengal.

“With just a handful of seats, ‘Didi’ you can’t reach Delhi. Delhi is far away. Going to Delhi is just an excuse. Her real intention is to politically establish her nephew,” Modi said. Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek is a sitting MP from Diamond Harbour and the TMC candidate from the seat.

Amid clashes at Asansol on Monday outside a polling booth where BJP MP Babul Supriyo’s car was vandalised, PM Modi said TMC “goons” were trying to prevent people from voting and attacking BJP workers.

“Mamata didi your army of goons is trying to stop the people from casting their votes. Mamata didi, democracy offered you the position you occupy now. Don’t betray democracy. The people of West Bengal have made up their mind,” he said.

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