The Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are going back and forth at their respective rallies ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections that will begin later this month. While other political parties are contesting in this election, the TMC and BJP are hogging the spotlight.
The BJP is campaigning aggressively with Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding rallies in the state. In Purulia today, the Prime Minister used TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s own phrase to attack her. “Didi, O Didi you played for 10 years. Khela shesh hobe, vikas aarambh hobe. (Your game will be over and development will begin),” Modi said.
He added that whenever the BJP spoke about the different issues, Mamata's only reply is Khela Hebo. “When BJP says jobs, Didi says khela hobe. When BJP says education, Didi says khela hobe. When BJP says development, Didi says khela hobe. When BJP says the rise of women, Didi says khela hobe. When BJP says jobs, Didi says khela hobe. When BJP says you will get a pucca house, clean water and taps in every home, Didi says khela hobe,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister also claimed that TMC’s days in Bengal are numbered. “Didi, you have tortured people for long. This time with the blessings of Maa Durga you will be defeated,” he said. Modi also claimed that the TMC deprived tribals and poor people of the Centre’s benefits.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal Chief Minister tore into the BJP during a rally in Kharagpur. She said the BJP is copying her. “Poribortan (development) is Mamata Banerjee’s slogan. Why are you (BJP) copying Mamata Banerjee,” Mamata questioned the BJP. However, what she said next maybe a hint at her political future. “After winning Bengal elections, we will jump to Delhi and shake the BJP,” Mamata said, eyeing the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Mamata added that she would not bend her head before the BJP. “I am like a tiger and I will not bow my head. I only bow my head before the public. I don’t support a party like BJP that tortures women and Dalits,” she said. She also requested the people of West Bengal to refrain from supporting the BJP. “I have a request, during the elections, if the BJP distributes money, do not bow your head in front of that money. Remember, that it is the public’s money,” she said.
Mamata also claimed that BJP only distributes money for horse-trading. “We gave thousands of crore after Amphan. BJP where were you at that time? They only distribute money for horse-trading,” she claimed.
The West Bengal CM also attacked the CPM-Congress alliance and asked the people not to vote for them. “If any Maoist, Leftist or Congress supporters’ friend is present here, I would like to tell them not to vote for CPI (M) as they are BJP’s Gadai. Don’t vote for Congress as they are BJP’s Jagai and the BJP is Madhai,” Mamata said, adding that the BJP is aware that she will not flee but fight along with the people.
With just less than two weeks to go, people are still unaware as to who is the BJP’s Chief Ministerial candidate. The TMC challenged the BJP to name its CM candidate. “I want to ask the PM only one question. Who is your Chief Ministerial candidate? We have Mamata Banerjee. Why can’t you name one? It is because if you name A, then B and C will revolt. I challenge you. Name your Chief Minister,” Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien said.