Rejecting aid from the Centre in the aftermath of Cyclone Fani, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she doesn't consider Narendra Modi as a prime minister, adding that she will speak to the "next prime minister" of the country.
"I do not consider him (Modi) the country's Prime Minister, hence I did not sit for the meeting with him (on Cyclone Fani). I do not want to be seen with him on the same platform. I will speak to the next prime minister. We can take care of cyclone damage by ourselves. We do not need the Centre's help ahead of polls," Mamata said in an election rally here.
Prime Minister Modi, who flew down to Bhubaneswar earlier today to visit the areas hit by Fani and take stock of the situation, wanted to do the same for West Bengal. The state government, however, refused to hold the review meeting stating that officials were busy with elections.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo, in an election rally in Bishnupur earlier today, alleged that Prime Minister Modi is "covered in the blood of riot victims from top to bottom."
"You call me a 'tolabaj'. If I am a tolabaj, from top to bottom you are covered by the blood of the people affected by riots. I have shed blood for the people. What have you done, Narendra Modi? You are covered in the blood of riot victims from top to bottom," she said.
Mamata further hit out at the Prime Minister over the Ram temple issue and said, "You (PM Modi) take the name of Ram all the time, but what have you done? We have constructed a skywalk, renovated the house of Swami Vivekananda and Sister Nivedita, and so many temples across Bangla (West Bengal). But have you managed to construct the Ram temple in five years? You give the slogan, 'Jai Shri Ram', but what have you done?"
"You cannot force someone to raise slogans - the slogan you want people to give. We respect Lord Ram and know how to give him proper respect. I will say Jai Hind, Vande Mataram, 'Maa-Mati-Manush-er jai', 'Trinamool Congress-er jai', but never the slogan which the BJP wants people to say," she added.
She also criticised Prime Minister for his remark on late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. "You may not like a person but one who gives his life for the country deserves everyone's respect. You have insulted Rajiv Gandhi," Mamata said.
The Chief Minister went on to ask how Modi, who "cannot take care of his wife," is suitable to rule the country. "The person who cannot look after his wife, how will he look after the people of the country?" she asked.
West Bengal witnessed polling on Monday in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections. The remaining two phases of polling are scheduled for May 12 and 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)