Mamata, Modi exchange barbs

Mamata, Modi exchange barbs

Mamata, Modi exchange barbs

With no chance of an alliance between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress (TMC), Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee have locked horns, exchanging allegations.

While the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate criticised the West Bengal chief minister for failing to usher in development in the state, the TMC slammed him for “advertising” himself as the future prime minister.

While the TMC chief has been criticising Modi as the “face of riots” for the past one month, he too seemed to have changed his stand since his rally at Kolkata in February, when he had gone soft on Mamata, calling to elect “Didi in Bengal, BJP in Delhi”.

Addressing a public rally near Siliguri in north Bengal on Thursday in support of party candidate S S Ahluwalia, Modi sharpened his attack on Banerjee, accusing her of playing vote-bank politics.

He also said no real “parivartan” (change) had taken place in the state under the party. “When the government changed in West Bengal, we thought there would be development, but nothing happened,” he said.

“The people have been cheated. If you have a strong and progressive government in Delhi, everything will fall in place. You have seen fake ‘parivartan’. Now it's time to see the real ‘parivartan’,” he added, using the rhetoric used by the TMC chief.

Claiming that Banerjee is unable to “digest food” unless she criticises Modi, the BJP prime ministerial candidate said, “Aap jitna kichar uchhaloge, utna zyada kamal khilega (The more you sling mud, the better the lotus will bloom).”

The TMC returned the attack, with party spokesman and Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien saying that even though Modi is “advertising” himself as the next prime minister, the people will not allow such a “nightmare”.

“Modi is advertising himself as a prime ministerial candidate. Wishful thinking. The prime minister is decided by a party with 273 MPs. Not by multi-million ads or super-paid news,” wrote O’Brien on Twitter.

“Modi has blood on his hands after riots where innocents were killed,” he added.