PM's 'gift' remarks trigger a war of words

PM's 'gift' remarks trigger a war of words

Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Raj Babbar addresses a press conference, at West Bengal Pradesh Congress office in Kolkata on Friday. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s revelation that one of his most vocal critics West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sends him sweets and kurtas as gifts triggered a political debate in West Bengal. The Opposition parties such as Congress and CPI(M) latched on to the remark and alleged that it indicates a covert understanding between Banerjee and Modi. 

Senior Congress leader Raj Babbar took a dig at the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo. "Mamataji never sends us sweets and kurtas. She sends it to only one person. Till now we have been raising questions on the Prime Minister’s claim of having a 56-inch chest but it seems Banerjee knows the size of his kurta," said Babbar, while talking to reporters in Kolkata.

'Will send soil, stone'

Seemingly exasperated with the ongoing gift fiasco, Banerjee at an election rally in West Bengal’s Raniganj made a rather strange remark on the issue. 

"I will send him sweets made of soil and stone chips so that it breaks his teeth,” said Banerjee.

Senior TMC leaders are scrambling to explain away the issue. TMC Secretary General Partha Chatterjee dismissed Babbar’s remarks and said that he has little knowledge of politics.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said: "What is the reason behind so much secrecy about sending gifts?"