Kolkata: Even as polling was underway in Nandigram on Thursday, the BJP’s star campaigner, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday said at a poll rally in West Bengal that chief minister Mamata Banerjee had made a "big mistake" by contesting from Nandigram and asked whether she is contemplating fighting from another constituency.
“Didi, is there any truth in the rumour that you are going to file nomination from another constituency? First, you went there (Nandigram), and the people gave you an answer. If you go somewhere else, the people of Bengal are ready,” PM Modi said while addressing a rally in Uluberia, which will vote in the third phase on April 6.
Reacting to his potshots, the TMC tweeted, "Didi is winning Nandigram. The question of her fighting from another seat doesn't arise. @narendramodiJi, retract from your efforts to mislead people before they see your lies with the end of nomination in WB. Look for a safer seat in 2024, as you will be challenged in Varanasi."
Instead of contesting from her home seat, Bhowanipore in south Kolkata, Ms Banerjee is fighting elections in Nandigram where she is pitted against her former aide Suvendu Adhikari who switched over to the BJP before polls.
Addressing a BJP rally at Joynagar in South 24 Parganas, Mr Modi attacked Ms Banerjee's latest Bengali poll slogan: “Thanda thanda, Cool cool, Ebar Trinamul”.
Calling the ruling Trinamul Congress a “shool” (thorn) and causing pain to the people of West Bengal, Mr Modi said, "I now find Didi, who often threatens and abuses, saying 'Cool, Cool' even after TMC unleashed atrocities on women," and added, "Trinamul cool nahi, Bangal ke logon ke liye shool hai, shool. Bangal ko asahaniya pira denewala shool hai Trinamul. Bangal ko raktaranjit karnewala shool hai Trinamul. Bangal ke saath anyay karnewala shool hai Trinamul (Trinamul is not cool. It is nothing but a thorn for the people of Bengal. It is a thorn which inflicts unbearable pain to Bengal, leaves Bengal bleeding and metes out injustice to Bengal). You have to give accounts of killings of brothers and sisters of Bengal. Bloodbath will not happen further."
Referring to the ongoing polls in the state, Mr Modi claimed the huge turnout of voters would help the BJP surpass its target of 200 seats out of 294 to come to power for the first time in the state.
"BJP will cross the tally of 200 seats this time here. Its flying start in the first phase of polls clearly says that the voice of the people has the blessings of God. During the second phase today, people are reaching the polling booths in large numbers. BJP and its wave is everywhere," he said.
Replying to Ms Banerjee's controversial comments on him over his recent Bangladesh tour, the PM asked her whether he was not entitled to visit Hindu temples in the neighbouring country.