Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday over her strident opposition to the amended citizenship law and the proposed nationwide NRC, accusing her of changing her earlier stand on infiltrators due to "vote-bank" politics.
Banerjee used to plead in Parliament to stop Bangladeshi infiltrators from coming to West Bengal and seek help for persecuted refugees from the neighbouring country, but she had changed her stand now due to political reasons, Modi said at a rally organised by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Ramlila Maidan here.
"Mamata didi reached the UN (United Nations) from Kolkata. A few years ago, she used to plead in Parliament to stop Bangladeshi infiltrators and help the persecuted refugees from there," he said.
Challenging the Modi government to go for a UN-monitored referendum over the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), Banerjee had recently said the BJP would have to quit if it failed such a "mass vote".
However, later the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief did a U-turn over a UN referendum on the CAA and nationwide NRC, saying she had only suggested that a opinion poll be conducted by impartial experts of the country, the process of which could be observed by the UN.
Modi accused Banerjee of "spreading rumours" and being "scared", keeping in mind the 2021 West Bengal Assembly polls.
"Didi, what has happened to you? Why have you changed and why are you spreading rumours? Elections and power come and go, why are you so scared? Have faith in the people of Bengal," he said.
The BJP believes it will gain politically in West Bengal from the amended citizenship law and the proposed nationwide NRC.