Bengal not Mamata’s personal property, says PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tore into his arch rival — West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee — for being “high-handed” and thinking that “she was the supreme power” in West Bengal. He said the State is not her “personal property”.

He attacked Banerjee’s nephew and the apparent heir Abhishek, saying the Bua-bhatija (aunt-nephew) duo was “running the State” and “shielding infiltrators”.

Infiltration and the imposition of National Register of Citizens have been a poll plank for the BJP this time in Bengal.

Modi promised, “he would repay with interest”, the love that Bengal has showered on him.

Speaking at a public rally in Dum Dum, Modi lashed out at Mamata as he claimed: “Didi, (as Mamata is known) West Bengal is not your personal property and the people of Bengal will put you in place.”

A little later, he added: “Bangal bua-bhatije ki jaggir nahin (Bengal isn’t anyone’s estate).”

This is Modi’s last rally in the State ahead of the final phase of polls due on May 19. Poll campaigning ended at 10 pm on Thursday, a day ahead of schedule; following orders of the EC in view of rampant violence.

According to Modi, his bete noir (Mamata) is up against the “literate youth” of Bengal this time around. They are questioning her and her autocratic ways and want democracy to be restored.

Didi thought she was the supreme power here. But, you are not fighting Modi or the BJP. You are up against the youth of the State who are questioning your ways,” the PM said.

Referring to the continuous attack on the Centre overauthenticity of “surgical and air strikes”, Modi compared Banerjee to “stone-pelters of Kashmir” who attack armed forces.

“Didi you are behaving like stone-pelters of Kashmir,” he said.

The Prime Minister also defended the EC and other democratic institutions that had come under Banerjee’s attack in recent times.

“Today you are criticising the EC and other institutions. But you forget that had these neutral institutions not been there, you would not have come to power here,” he said.

Statue Politics

Earlier in the day, Modi asserted that the TMC would try to wipe out the evidence of the desecration of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue at a city college.