April 2, 2021 3:55:51 am
While polling was underway in Nandigram, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is pitted against her aide-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday mocked the TMC chief, saying he has heard “rumours of her contesting from another seat”.
He also said that Banerjee’s letter to 14 Opposition leaders on forming an alternative to the BJP just a day ahead of the second phase of voting “stemmed from her anxiety over impending defeat in the Assembly elections”.
“Didi (Mamata), is there any truth in the rumour I heard that you are going to file nomination from another constituency? First, you went there (Nandigram) and people gave you an answer. They have decided that you must go. Now, if you go somewhere else, people of Bengal are ready,” said Modi.
“Didi is feeling that she made a mistake by contesting from Nandigram. The mood of polling says Nandigram is doing what the whole state wants to do. Her frustration has increased after the first phase of voting. Yesterday, Didi sought help from many Opposition leaders who she never gave time or met. She is asking for their support now,” Modi said at a BJP rally in Howrah’s Uluberia.
Responding to PM Modi’s comments, sources in the TMC said, “The question of Mamata Banerjee fighting from any other seat does not arise. She is winning Nandigram comfortably.”
Earlier in the day at a rally in Joynagar in South 24 Parganas district, Modi attacked the TMC over ‘chotiwala’ remark made by some party leaders, claiming thatBanerjee “has issues with Jai Shri Ram chants and immersion of Durga idols”.
“Didi now has problems with people wearing saffron clothes and sporting a tilak. Didi’s men now call chotiwalas rakshasas (demons). Didi, if you want to abuse me then do it. But I won’t let you abuse the faith of West Bengal,” the PM said, referring to TMC MP Mahua Moitra’s comment over BJP leader Giriraj Singh’s remarks.
After Banerjee spoke of her “Shandilya gotra” at a rally in Nandigram, Union Minister Giriraj Singh, who sports a choti, commented, “Do you consider Rohingyas and other infiltrators as ‘Shandilya’ and offer them the red carpet?”
Singh’s comment invited a sharp retort from TMC MP Mohua Moitra, who tweeted: “Giriraj says Mamata’s from Rohingya clan. Proud of it. Far better than being from the chotiwala rakshasa clan.”
Singh often identifies himself as “Shandilya” on social media.Modi also defended his visit to temples in Bangladesh during his recent trip to the neighbouring country. The TMC had written to the Election Commission alleging that Modi’s recent visit to Bangladesh violated the model code of conduct as some of his programmes there were “intended to influence the voting pattern” in certain constituencies, referring to Modi’s meeting with a group of Matuas living in Bangladesh and prayers to Matua sect founder Harichand Thakur at the Orakandi temple.
Modi tried to counter the TMC’s charge saying: “Is it wrong to take the blessing of Maa Kali or of Harichand Thakur? Didi does not know me. We are not seasonal devotees. We are proud of our faith and tradition,” he said.
Modi also hit out at Banerjee for calling him an outsider.
“Sometimes Didi calls me a tourist, sometimes an outsider. Didi, you consider infiltrators as your own but call sons of Bharat Mata outsiders. Didi, stop distinguishing people and insulting the Constitution by labelling people as outsiders. You have taken oath of the Constitution which does not allow you to speak against other states or people of other states,” he said.
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