PM, Mamata launch all-out offensive as truncated campaign ends in WB

PM, Mamata launch all-out offensive as truncated campaign ends in WB
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NEW DELHI, May 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday launched an all-out attack on each other as they made a last-ditch effort to shore up the prospects of their candidates for the nine Lok Sabha seats that will vote in the last phase on Sunday.
Bringing down curtains on a bitter, high-voltage campaigning in the state, PM Modi addressed two rallies while Mamata Banerjee held public meetings and a roadshow before the truncated deadline for electioneering ended tonight.
With ‘Bengali pride’ firmly pitchforked into electoral discourse, PM Modi declared his government’s commitment to the “vision” of Bengali icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and promised that his grand statue will be installed at the very place where it was vandalised. PM Modi made this announcement at a rally in UP.
“Dedicated as we are to the vision of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, our government will install a panchdhatu (an alloy of five metals) statue at the very spot and give a befitting reply to TMC goondas,” PM Modi declared in Mau.
He also referred to Banerjee’s remark at a poll rally on Wednesday that if she wants she can capture the BJP’s head office in New Delhi “in a trice”.
“You and your party are known for grabbing land. Because of this habit, people have lost confidence in you and have made up their mind to defeat you,” he said.
Calling Banerjee “sticker didi”, the Prime Minister accused her of claiming credit for central schemes.
In West Bengal, Banerjee went for Modi’s jugular, saying she does not want “alms” from the BJP.
“Bengal does not seek alms from BJP. We have the money for a new bust of Vidyasagar, who was part of Bengal Renaissance.
Don’t you feel ashamed for saying that Bengal has been reduced to a pauper state?” she said.
Banerjee was referring to a comment by BJP president Amit Shah at a poll rally earlier this week where he had said that under Banerjee “sonar (made of gold) Bangla has become kangal (pauper) Bangla”.
Later in the day, addressing a rally at Mathurapur in West Bengal, PM Modi said Banerjee had “lost her cool in the face of imminent defeat”.
CCTV cameras were installed in the college. The way the state government erased evidence of Narada and Saradha scam, it is trying to remove evidence here too,” the PM alleged and demanded the most stringent of punishments to the perpetrators “for the unpardonable sin”.
Kolkata witnessed widespread violence during Amit Shah’s massive roadshow on Tuesday after his convoy was pelted with stones during which the bust of the 19th century Bengali social reformer was smashed to smithreens at a college named after him. (TNN)