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PM says 40 of Mamata's MLAs in touch, Trinamool hits back (2nd Lead)


IANS Sreerampur (West Bengal)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday claimed that 40 MLAs of West Bengals ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) were in "touch" with him and would desert Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee whose party hit back by filing a "horse trading" complaint with the Election Commission against him.
"When the lotus blooms all over Bengal after May 23, Didi (Banerjee), you will see that your MLAs will also abandon you and run away. Forty of your MLAs are in touch with me even today," Modi said at an election rally in Hooghly district.
"It will be tough for you to save yourself. You have cheated the people of Bengal," he said, in a message to Banerjee.
The Trinamool has 213 MLAs in the 295-member West Bengal Assembly.
Modi said despite all the attacks and intimidation by the state's ruling Trinamool, the people of Bengal have only one motto in this Lok Sabha elections.
"Didi has crossed all limits this time. The Trinamool Congress goons are trying to stop people from casting their votes. Our party candidates are being attacked and stopped from campaigning. Yet people in the villages are turning up in the polling stations with only one motto...'chup chap kamal chap, booth booth se TMC saaf' (silently vote for the lotus symbol, remove Trinamool from all booths)," he said.
Soon after, Trinamool leader Derek O'Brien hit back, tweeting: "Expiry Babu PM, let's get this straight. Nobody will go with you. Not even one councillor. Are you election campaigning or horse trading! Your expiry date is near. Today, we are complaining to the Election Commission. Charging you with horse trading."
Later, he posted another tweet: "The complaint against Modi for horse trading has been filed with ECI. Monday, 7pm."
In his speech, Modi took a dig at Banerjee for also claiming to send him 'rasgullas' made out of soil and stones and said it was "holy and inspirational" to him.
"Didi, who once talked about 'mati and manush' (soil and human being), is now talking about feeding me 'rasgullas' made out of Bengal's soil and stones. How lucky I am! The soil of Bengal gave birth to so many statesmen such as Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Shyama Prasad Mookerjee. If Modi gets 'rasgullas' made out of this soil, it will be like 'prasad' to him," he said.
"It will bring me good luck because this soil is holy to me. It is my inspiration. I will be grateful to Didi for the 'rasgullas' made out of Bengal's soil, as not everyone is fortunate enough to get such holy 'prasad'," Modi added.
The Prime Minister also ridiculed Banerjee by asking her to send as many stones as possible in the sweets so that the Trinamool-backed goons do not have enough stones left to attack the people of Bengal.
"You said there will be stones inside the 'rasgullas'. I would be grateful for this because otherwise your goons would use the stones to break people's heads. So send me as many stones as possible so that the heads of Bengal's people remain unharmed," he said amid massive cheer from the crowd.
Modi further said that Banerjee knew that her Prime Ministerial aspirations were hollow, as no one can be on that chair with a handful of seats. He also claimed that Banerjee was trying to establish her nephew and Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee as the next Chief Minister of West Bengal.
"Didi also knows that she won't become the Prime Minister with a handful of seats. Going to Delhi is not that easy, it is very far. She actually has another agenda. Should I tell you?
"'Delhi to bahana hai, ye bhatije ko jamana hai' (Delhi is an excuse, she wants to establish her nephew here)," the Prime Minister said.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 9:32 PM IST

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