A day after Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said at a public rally that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “drenched in blood from head to feet”, alluding to the 2002 Gujarat riots, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Bengal lashed out at her, alleging that the blood stains are in fact on the hands of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader.
“In the past few years, there was not a single communal riot in any BJP-ruled state in the country. But there were several communal clashes in West Bengal in the past few years and the chief minister has conveniently forgotten them. The blood is actually on her hands and she is the real rioter,” said BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha.
Sinha pointed out that over the past few years communal clashes took place in Bengal in areas such as Dhulagarh, Basirhat and Asansol among others.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said that the stronger the BJP got in Bengal, the more Banerjee was targeting Narendra Modi personally.
“One has to remember that the Gujarat riots were an after-effect of Godhra. She cannot reap the political benefits of what happened 17 years ago,” said Ghosh, referring to the burning of a bogey in a train in Godhra railway platform, in which 59 kar-sevaks (volunteers) lost their lives.
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The Bengal chief minister and the Prime Minister have been locked in an ongoing battle of words this election campaign season.
While Banerjee has called Modi “a liar”, “Ravana” and “Expiry Babu” (signalling his term as PM has expired), Modi has coined a name “Speed Breaker Didi” for Mamata, meaning her puts obstacles on the path of development that Modi has envisaged for West Bengal.
On Monday, while addressing a public rally in Bishnupur in Bankura district, about 130 km from Kolkata, the Bengal chief minister shot back at earlier comments by Modi that Bengal under her was known for Trinamool Tolabazi Tax.
“If I am a tolabaaz (extortionist) what are you? From head to toe you are drenched in the blood of people. Only riots, riots and riots,” she said. “When Modi comes to Bengal and alleges tolabazi, I feel like giving him a slap of democracy,” said Banerjee on Tuesday at a public rally, raising her right hand in a motion of slapping. Both, the prime minister and Shah have criticised Banerjee alleging her party leaders indulge in extortion.
At a press conference, BJP vice president Baijayant Jay Panda and its media head Anil Baluni claimed that the “Modi wave” will help the saffron party gain many seats from Odisha and West Bengal. Panda said the opposition, which is in “panic mode”, has been “abusing” Modi, referring to Banerjee’s remarks that Modi should get a “tight slap of democracy” to attack the opposition. Her desperation shows how much the ground has shifted in the state, Panda said.
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May 08, 2019 11:08 IST
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