West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday responded to Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah’s jibe at her with a reference to the Gujarat riots of 2002 that occurred during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s time as the state’s chief minister, NDTV reported.
Banerjee’s remark came hours after Shah, who addressed a rally in Joynagar in South 24 Parganas district, acccused her of turning the state into “kangal Bangla [poor Bengal]”.
The Trinamool Congress chief urged voters in West Bengal not to vote for the saffron party. “A BJP leader came to the state and said Mamata didi has made Bengal ‘kangal [broke]’,” Banerjee said. “He is thick-headed. Does he even know what ‘kangal’ means? How dare he call Bengal ‘kangal’? Take revenge for this insult, do not give them even one vote.”
The West Bengal chief minister alleged that the saffron party only knows how to start riots, NDTV reported. “I am willing to lay down my life, but there will no riot under my watch,” she added.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien accused the BJP president of insulting West Bengal. “That puke- worthy Shah had the audacity to use the term ‘kangal bangla’ today at a rally,” O’Brien tweeted. “The people of Bengal will give him and Modi a fitting reply in Phase 7. That #LowLife insults Bengal.”
In October 2017, the Gujarat High Court upheld a 2012 judgement by a magistrate’s court in the state that had accepted the Special Investigation Team’s closure report acquitting Modi and 58 others in connection with the 2002 riots, saying there was “no prosecutable evidence” against them.