Mamata-Shah trade barbs as Bengal enters last phase of polling

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on May 13, 2019

BJP President Amit Shah   -  PTI

BJP President Amit Shah triggered a political storm in Bengal when he said the Mamata Banerjee government has reduced Sonar Bangla (golden Bengal) to Kangal Bangla (destitute Bengal).

The comment infuriated Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. Responding to the jibe, she called Shah “half literate” with “zero knowledge of Bengal’.

The drama unfolded after some of Shah’s scheduled rallies in the State could not take place. The BJP alleged TMC high-handedness as sporadic protests were reported in the southern fringes of the city.

The seventh and last phase of the election is due on May 19 and it covers all important urban seats of Kolkata-North, Kolkata-South, Dum Dum, Jadavpur and the fringe areas of Diamond Harbour, Basirhat, Mathurapur, Joynagar and Barasat. All the nine seats are TMC strongholds and the BJP intends to breach two–three of these.

Moreover, the urban seats will decide whether the BJP has been able to woo the city voters, who, at one point, were Banerjee’s dedicated voter base.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has scheduled four rallies in two days across four of these nine seats.

Amit Shah could hold only two of the day’s scheduled rallies.

On Monday morning, the BJP alleged on social media that Shah’s chopper was denied permission to land, while the permission was also withdrawn for some scheduled rallies.

Sources said, the temporary helipad for Shah’s chopper could not come up as the land owner withdrew his consent to rent the land. Trinamool has denied its involvement in any of the incidents.

Attack on Banerjee

Shah launched an offensive on Banerjee and her nephew and heir apparent Abhishek Banerjee. He claimed Mamata was a “dynast” and “his rallies were being blocked to save her nephew”.

“We will restore the glory of Bengal. Mamata didi has turned Sonar Bangla into Kangal Bangla. She is only interested in protecting infiltrators to secure her vote bank,” the BJP President said.

Shah said, “The TMC can stop me from attending rallies but not the victory march of the BJP in Bengal.”

Mamata hits backs

“They are insulting the Bengalis. These people (Shah) do not know about Bengal and they keep commenting on the State. These are half literate people, don’t vote for them,” the TMC chief said at a rally.

“BJP is a party of rioters,” the WB CM added.

Published on May 13, 2019

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