Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee traded bards on Monday over Cyclone Fani. According to reports, at least 38 people were killed in the storm that hit Odisha on Friday. The storm had weakened by the time it entered West Bengal the following day.
Modi accused Banerjee of doing “cheap politics” over Cyclone Fani. Speaking at an election rally in Tamluk in East Medinipur district, Modi claimed Banerjee did not take his call when he tried to talk to her about the storm.
“I am just back from Odisha after reviewing the post-cyclone situation,” Modi said. “I also wanted to speak to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over phone to discuss the issue. I had called her, but Didi is so arrogant that she did not speak to me. I waited for her call but she did not get back to me. ‘Speedbreaker’ Didi was more interested in doing politics. I wanted to speak to the state officials but the state government did not allow that to happen.”
Banerjee said she could not take Modi’s call as she was in Kharagpur monitoring the situation, reported PTI. The Trinamool Congress chief had cancelled all her election rallies for 48 hours. “I don’t want to share dais with expiry PM as elections are on,” she said at a public meeting in Bishnupur in the state’s Bankura district.
Modi’s allegations came after the Trinamool Congress reportedly lashed out at him for calling West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi instead of talking to the chief minister to take stock of the situation.
At the Tamluk rally, Modi also criticised Banerjee for not praising the central government for getting Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar named a global terrorist by the United Nations. He said Banerjee was “afraid that it might affect her vote bank politics”. He added: “The condition in Bengal is such that if you chant Jai Shri Ram, you would be put behind bars.”