Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are practicing “competitive communalism”, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged on Tuesday, saying the two parties are hand in gloves in West Bengal.

“As far as TMC and BJP are concerned they are different sides of the same coin, we have been saying this for a long time. They have an understanding to speed up religious polarisation. They are practising competitive communalism so that if one progresses the other will reap its benefits. So this kind of ‘jugalbandi’ which is happening is clear from the candidates meeting each other,” he said, referring to BJP candidate Anupam Hazra meeting TMC’s Anubrata Mondal.

On Monday, while elections were on in eight Lok Sabha seats in the state, Hazra, BJP’s Jadavpur Lok Sabha candidate, met TMC’s Birbhum district chief Anubrata Mondal at his party office, fuelling speculations.

Later, Hazra clarified it as a courtesy visit.

Taking shots at it, Yechury said, “We know this and so do the people of Bengal. We are appealing to the public to remove both Modi and Mamata.”

Yechury further questioned the Election Commission on how it allowed Modi to say that 40 TMC MLAs are in touch with the BJP at a time when voting was still underway in the state. “It was being played live on television.”

“The details about the 40 MLAs are with the two parties – its a domestic issue between the two, a domestic quarrel. I can’t say what message the prime minister was intending to send through it,” he said.

He further said that Banerjee sent sweets and specially made kurtas for Modi and questioned why something that is part of Indian tradition had remained a secret for so long.

“Why do it secretly? Till Modi said it, this was not known to anyone. If it’s an Indian tradition, why do it secretly,” quipped Yechury.