West Bengal Election: PM Modi also spoke about the most high-profile constituency in this round, Nandigram, where Mamata Banerjee faces a tough challenge from her former aide-turned-BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused Mamata Banerjee of “insulting the culture of Bengal” and “disliking” his temple visit in Bangladesh as he hit back at the Trinamool Congress (TMC) for accusing him of violating the poll code with his recent trip to the neighbouring country in the middle of elections.
“Didi did not like me praying at the Ma Kali temple in Bangladesh. We are not seasonal with our religious belief. We always take pride in our faith and tradition,” said the PM, campaigning at Joynagar in Bengal today as parts of the state voted in the second round of eight-phase polling.
This was his first response to the Trinamool calling his visit to Bangladesh, where he prayed at an iconic Kali temple and addressed members of the Matua community, “unethical and in violation of the model code. The Matuas, a Dalit community, are said to have considerable influence in several districts of West Bengal.
In a letter to the Election Commission, Mamata Banerjee’s party had said the PM’s events in Bangladesh had nothing to do with his official agenda and were directed at influencing voters in neighbouring Bengal.
“I visited one of the 51 Shaktipeeth Jeshoreshwari Kali temple in Bangladesh. TMC has taken offence. Is it wrong to pay obeisance to Shri Harichand Thakur (founder of the Matua sect) at Orakandi?”
Taking shots at Mamata Banerjee, the PM referred to the most high-profile constituency in this round, Nandigram, where the Chief Minister faces a tough challenge from her former aide-turned-BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari.
Mamata Banerjee was “afraid of losing”, so was forced to camp in Nandigram, the PM remarked. “Didi left Bhawanipore (her constituency in Kolkata) to go to Nandigram. Then she realised her mistake in coming here. Didi is forced to camp in Nandigram for three days,” he said.
“Didi, are you going to fill nomination on another seat? First you went to Nandigram, and the people gave you an answer! Wherever you go, the people of Bengal are ready to give you the right answer.”
PM Modi also mocked the Bengal Chief Minister’s letter to various opposition leaders calling for a united fight against the BJP, saying she “calls everyone outsiders, now she is appealing to them”.
He went on to accuse Mamata Banerjee of “not liking the Jai Shri Ram chant, the tilak and saffron clothes” and having a “problem” with the immersion of Goddess Durga.
“Trinamool is not cool, it is shool (thorn). Didi says thanda thanda cool cool. The khela (game) of blood will not work,” said PM Modi, once again raising allegations of a Trinamool role in the killing of BJP workers in Bengal. A BJP wave was blowing across Bengal, he said, adding that the party would win over 200 of the state’s 294 assembly seats.
Responding to the PM’s comments on Mamata Banerjee contemplating fighting from another seat because she was nervous about Nandigram, Trinamool sources said the question of another seat did not arise. “She is winning Nandigram comfortably,” said the sources.