Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a rally in West Bengal’s Birbhum district on Friday that it seems everybody from the Opposition wants to become the prime minister. “So many leaders are being talked about,” he said. “Anyone fighting on 40 seats, 20 seats, 25 seats, says he wants to claim the prime minister’s post. Sab ghungroo bandhke taiyar ho gaye [everyone is dressed up to take the post].”

“But which leader can fight against terrorism?” Modi asked in Bolpur. “Your vote will help defeat terrorism. Your vote will make the chowkidar [watchman] stronger, and he will fulfil your dreams.”

“I read somewhere that Didi [Mamata Banerjee] said that this chaiwala [tea seller] was busy making foreign trips all these five years,” Modi said. “Didi, today, the might of India is acknowledged around the world because of these visits.”

“Even five years ago, we used to struggle to get the world to support us on any matter,” he said. “But today, the world stands with us.”

Modi claimed that Banerjee is angry with the Election Commission because it has managed to hold free and fair elections in West Bengal. He said that it is clear from news reports that Banerjee’s “sun is about to set” in the state.

The prime minister claimed that the people of West Bengal face difficulties in celebrating Ram Navami, Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja. “But thanks to your chowkidar, the foundation stone for a Hindu temple was laid in Abu Dhabi,” he added. “Didi, if you do not wish to learn from Modi, at least learn from Dubai.”

“Those who live and die for the vote bank, abuse the idea of nationalism,” he said. “They appear to be on the side of Pakistan and terrorism. Didi wants proof of surgical strikes!”

The Lok Sabha elections are being held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19, and the results will be declared on May 23. Voting is being held in West Bengal in all seven phases.

Congress attacks Modi

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said Modi’s ghungroo remark was “shameful”, News18 reported. “He has been the chief minister for the longest time and has been the PM for the last five years,” he said. “His cheap statements are in no way in accordance with his position as the head of the country. He is a politician 24/7. I am waiting for him to transition into a statesman. Forget the Congress, he should apologise to the entire nation.”