Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday claimed that around 40 Trinamool Congress legislators were in touch with him and were ready to desert their party once the Bharatiya Janata Party wins the Lok Sabha elections.
Modi warned Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of a mass revolt within her party. “When the [election] results are out on May 23, lotus will bloom everywhere [a reference to the BJP’s party symbol] and your legislators will also abandon you,” Modi said at a rally in Serampore city in West Bengal. “Even today, 40 of your [Banerjee’s] MLAs are in touch with me.”
He accused Banerjee of nepotism, claiming that she wants to politically establish her nephew in West Bengal. Abhishek Banerjee, the chief minister’s nephew, is a sitting MP from Diamond Harbour seat and is seeking re-election this year. “With just a handful of seats, Didi [referring to Banerjee], you can’t reach Delhi. Delhi is far away. Going to Delhi is just an excuse. Her real intention is to politically establish her nephew,” Modi said.
The prime minister also accused the Trinamool Congress leaders of rigging elections and claimed that its goons were preventing voters from exercising their franchise. He even accused the state government of blatant corruption. “Those who don’t agree with their ideology, they are hanged,” he said.
Polling is under way in eight seats of West Bengal in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections.
TMC accuses PM Modi of horse-trading
Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said his party will lodge a complaint against Modi with the Election Commission. “Expiry Babu PM. Nobody will go with you, not even one councillor,” O’Brien tweeted. “Are you election campaigning or horse trading, your expiry date is near. Today, we are complaining to EC. Charging you with horse trading.”
Opposition wants ‘khichdi’ government at Centre, says PM
Addressing a rally in Koderma Lok Sabha constituency of Jharkhand, the prime minister said the Opposition alliance’s mission is to form a “khichdi” government at the Centre. The strings of this alliance would remain in the hands of the Congress, he said.
He claimed the Congress knows it cannot form a government on its own under any circumstance. “Around two decades ago, a similar ‘mission mahamilavat’ [alliance of Opposition parties] tried to stop Atal Bihari Vajpayee from becoming the prime minister... the Congress rallied behind some parties, resulting in change of governments and prime ministers every two to three years,” Modi said.