Elections

Modi lashes out at Mamata for her ‘strong-arm’ tactics

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on May 15, 2019 Published on May 15, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a public gathering in Taki, North 24 Pargan a district, West Bengal on Wednesday   -  Debasish Bhaduri

In his 2 rallies across Bengal, PM accuses TMC of instigating violence in roadshow

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his penultimate push for the battle of Bengal as he tore into Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her ‘strong-arm tactics’ during his two rallies in the State.

The attack on BJP President Amit Shah during a roadshow in Kolkata and subsequent violence on Tuesday, allegedly fomented by the Trinamool Congress (TMC), featured prominently his speeches on Wednesday.

Referring to the violence, Modi said Mamata had instigated and mobilised TMC workers through her speeches. This led to the attack on the BJP President and the subsequent violence.

Also read: Mamata Banerjee govt out to destroy everything in Bengal: PM Modi

The Prime Minister alleged that Banerjee was “trying to throttle the very democracy” that had brought her to power.

“Didn’t Didi (Mamata), at a public rally some days back, say she will take revenge? And days after that, the BJP President was attacked. Where is the democracy in Bengal? The very democracy that brought Didi to power is now under threat from her,” Modi said at a rally in Basirhat, 70 km from Kolkata.

Basirhat — one of the areas which saw communal flare-up in 2017 — is one of the target seats where BJP is eyeing to make a mark in the last phase of the polls (May 19).

“People shielded Amit ji from the TMC attack. This is the love that the BJP has got from the people here,” he said at another rally later in the day. Modi said Banerjee’s “autocratic rule” was first called out by college students. Their questions annoyed her so much that she walked out of a television talk show.

The photo conflict

The PM also referred to the arrest and alleged harassment of BJP worker, Priyanka Sharma, for circulating a meme of the Chief Minister, as another instance of her disregard for free speech and criticism. “Paint a picture/caricature of me. Make a meme of me. Gift it to me after May 23, when I become the Prime Minister again. I promise, you won’t be arrested,” Modi said taking a dig at Banerjee.

“The youth are calling out Mamata didi and her autocratic rule here,” he said during another rally at Diamond Harbour, few kms from Kolkata.

Mamata’s nephew Abhishek is the candidate from Diamond Harbour. Modi alleged that the party top-brass were involved in tolabaazi (extortion rackets) and land grabbing. “The West Bengal government is a bua-bhatije ki sarkar (aunt-nephew’s government),” Modi said at Diamond Harbour.

Apart from Basirhat and Diamond Harbour, urban, semi-urban and rural constituencies — Kolkata-North, Kolkata-South, Dum Dum, Jadavpur, Barasat, Mathurapur and Joynagar — will vote on May 19. All the nine seats are Mamata Banerjee’s citadels as her core voter-base lies here. The BJP has emerged as a prime challenger to TMC and is eyeing at least 23 seats from the State that has 42 seats.

For more: Elections 2019

Published on May 15, 2019
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