Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of pursuing “cheap politics” over cyclone Fani, claiming that she did not speak to him when he tried to contact her to talk about the calamity.
This led to a typically acidic reply from Mamata Banerjee who said that the PM just wanted a photo-op.
Speaking at a rally in Gopiballabpur: “Last time, I had gone to visit all the places which were heavily affected by floods. Where were you? You are an ‘expiry PM’. You’ve come here to do politics, you’ve come here for a rally. That’s why you’ve come to Kalaikunda.”
She continued her rant and said: “Are we your servants that you will call us there and we will have to attend your official meeting? If you had not come for an election rally, we could’ve done an official meet.”
Further expanding on the rhetoric, Didi said:
“You are just an expiry Prime Minister. You are just a PM in name, not in deed. Why will I meet you?
How dare you propose a meeting with state officials without the presence of my prime ministers.
Do you want a photo op? You want theatrics? No one in any case will get that money.
Unlike you, Didi doesn’t need a plane to roam around Bengal. We don’t need your favour before elections.”
Modi also criticised Banerjee for not hailing the designation of Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist” by the UN as she is “afraid that it might affect her vote bank politics”
Reacting to this allegations and hitting back at the prime minister for alleging repeatedly that her government is run by extortionist syndicates. Mamtha angrily retorted
“I do not bow my head in politics. When Modi alleges that Trinamool Congress is a party of syndicates…its government is run by syndicates, I feel he should get a tight slap of democracy (be defeated in election),” she said at a public meeting at Raghunathpur in Purulia.
Calling Modi a prime minister who is “known for telling lies”, Banerjee said during his visits to West Bengal for election he says her government does not allow Durga Puja and other Hindu rituals to be performed. “Do you believe those allegations?” she asked.
Joining issue with the prime minister over his claim that she does not allow people to chant “Jai Sri Ram” and throw those who do behind bars, she said, “I will not join them (the BJP) in shouting their slogan. I will rather say Jai Hind.”
At another meeting at Ranibandh in Bankura district, she questioned BJP’s claim of patriotism. “I do not know who Gandhiji’s killers were. But we know the name of Nathuram Godse, an RSS man. When you speak of patriotism and serving the nation can you tells us who was he?
“Did you fight for the country’s independence? You (the BJP) had supported the British. Don’t you feel ashamed?” Banerjee said.
Speaking in the same vein at Barjora, also in Bankura district, Banerjee said, “They (the BJP) don’t revere Gandhiji and Netaji as leaders of the nation . Modi should not sermonise us on patriotism”.
A combative Banerjee alleged that BJP starts doing politics over Lord Ram during elections.She said the saffron party could not build even a small Ram temple in the last five years.
The TMC supremo also sounds confident that Modi will not get a second term in office as he failed to bring in ‘acche din’ that he had promised in 2014.
Instead, more than 12,000 farmers committed suicide, factories got closed and three crore jobs were lost.However, she claimed, while there was distress everywhere, income of those living in West Bengal went up three-fold.
She accused the BJP of orchestrating riots between “Hindus and Muslims, Muslims and Christians and Muslims and adivasis” during the last five years.”I don’t tolerate rioters both Hindu and Muslim.
We want peace not unrest. We (TMC) do not want Modi to stay in power. We will help in government formation in Delhi,” she added.