Kolkata. Bengal today witnessed some verbal fireworks as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee led the battle for the state’s 42 seats. The Chief Minister had tweaked her schedule to speak after PM Modi. Around 4 in the evening, as the Prime Minister finished speaking in Kolkata, Ms Banerjee took the stage in Cooch Behar.
Dubbing the Prime Minister “Expiry babu”, Ms Banerjee repeated her challenge for a US Presidential-style televised debate.
The jibe about BJP fortunes in the national elections, slated to begin next week, was started by Shatrughan Sinha. In a tweet yesterday, the actor-politician, who is in the process of changing camp from the BJP to the Congress, had addressed PM Modi as “Outgoing Sir-ji”.
In his first rally of the day in north Bengal’s Siliguri, the Prime Minister had criticised Ms Banerjee’s government, calling her the “speedbreaker” in the path of the state’s development. Mamata Banerjee, he said, wanted poverty to stay so her “politics of poverty” can flourish.
“You worry about Delhi first and then turn your eyes on Bengal,” said the Chief Minister, accusing PM Modi of making false claims about performance of her government in the state. “I am not Modi, I don’t tell lies,” the Chief Minister declared.
Accusing the BJP of doing far worse for the farmers, she said 12,000 farmers have committed suicide over the last five years.
Claiming that her government done much for the welfare of the people, the Chief Minister said the income of farmers in Bengal has tripled under her rule.
The Trinamool has claimed that it, along with other parties “are 50-60 seats ahead of the BJP and the NDA”. Bengal will vote in all seven phases between April 11 and May 19.