Mamata Banerjee was reacting to PM Narendra Modi's accusation that the Trinamool Congress was arresting West Bengal people for chanting Jai Shri Ram.
The war of words between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi escalated when the former questioned the number of temples the BJP built in its tenure of five years since it came to power at the Centre. Addressing an election rally on Monday, Banerjee said that Lord Ram becomes an election agent for the BJP whenever elections approach. She even said that the BJP was trying to force everybody to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
“You BJP babu, you say ‘Jai Sri Ram’ but have you built even one Ram temple? At the time of elections, Ram Chandra becomes your party agent, you say ‘Ram Chandra is my election agent’. You say ‘Jai Sri Ram’ and force others to say it,” news agency ANI quoted her as saying.
“Why should I give your slogan? I will not chant the name of rotten Modi or rotten BJP. They are trying to erase the culture of Bengal,” she added.
Her remark comes in the backdrop of PM Narendra Modi’s accusation that the Trinamool Congress was arresting West Bengal people for chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and that saying it in public places was considered a crime by the Mamata government.
“I want to say to the people of entire West Bengal ‘Jai Shri Ram’. I want to say it especially to Mamata didi. Didi has started to put people in jail for chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’. So I thought that I should also say ‘Jai Shri Ram’ to her directly,” Modi said at an election rally in Jhargram on Monday.
The war of words between Mamata and Modi began after a video showed Mamata step out of her car at a place in West Midnapore district and chase some people who chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ while her convoy was passing.