Modi’s big claim in West Bengal: 40 TMC legislators in touch with me, will desert Mamata Banerjee post-May 23

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Updated: April 29, 2019 4:42:18 PM

Addressing an election rally in Serampore in West Bengal, PM Modi claimed that 40 MLAs from Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress were in touch with him.

PM Modi, TMC MLAs, Mamata Banerjee, Lok Sabha electionPrime Minister Narendra Modi. (File Photo)

PM Modi’s big claim in Bengal: Sending shockwaves across political circles over the likely developments in West Bengal post-May 23 when the Lok Sabha election results are announced, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that 40 MLAs from Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress are still in touch with him and will desert her once the poll outcome is declared.

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The Prime Minister was addressing a rally in West Bengal’s Serampore when he said that Mamata’s behaviour showed that she was flustered by the way things were transpiring in the state in the fourth phase of elections. Voting is currently underway at eight of the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal today.

“Didi, on 23 May, the day Lok Sabha results are announced, the lotus will bloom everywhere and your MLAs will desert you and run away. Even today, 40 of your MLAs are in contact with me,” Modi said in a message to chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Also Read: Mamata Banerjee promises to continue sending sweets to Modi, but there’s a catch – WATCH VIDEO

Reacting to the Prime Minister’s statement, TMC MP Derek O’Brien said that the party will file a complaint with the Election Commission over “horse-trading” by PM Modi.

Notably, some leaders of the state unit of the BJP have previously said that a number of MLAs of the TMC are in touch with the BJP and could jump ship anytime.

Mamata and Modi’s BJP have been at loggerheads over a host of issues. The friction between the two parties grew with the BJP managing to make inroads in the state in local body and panchayat elections. In the ongoing general elections, BJP and Modi have laid special focus on West Bengal to expand the party’s base and influence to offset any damage it may incur in states like Uttar Pradesh and the Hindi heartland.

Just a few days ago, PM Modi had sent ripples when he said in an interaction with Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar that he shares cordial relations with leaders of opposition parties. “Mamata didi still sends me hand-picked kurtas. She also sends me Bengali sweets,” he said while ensuring he admits that the statement could hurt his electoral prospects.

The idea, of course, was the opposite. Days later, Mamata responded saying that while the gesture will continue, she will “fill the rasgullas with mud and pebbles that will break Modi’s teeth”.

Today, Modi took the opportunity to counter Mamata’s jab and turn it around its head. “Mamata didi has announced that she will send sweets made from Bengal’s mud and stones. To me, a rasgulla made of Bengal’s mitti is akin to the being blessed by Ramkrishna Paramhans, Swami Vivekanand, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Jagdish Chandra Bose and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.”

Addressing the gathering, Modi slammed Mamata over her policy of governance through repression and violence. “Mamata didi has crossed all limits in West Bengal and unleashed TMC goons to stop people from voting. BJP workers are being attacked and BJP leaders not being allowed to campaign.”

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