Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday claimed that patriotism and nationalist feelings are being abused in the country and said the people should be cautious of those who indulge in it for the sake of vote-bank politics.

He alleged that the political parties which did not recognise the sacrifices made by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and other freedom fighters are now questioning the valour of the armed forces – a reference to the air strikes at Balakot in Pakistan.

“The country is witnessing a peculiar trend of abuse of patriotism and nationalist feelings. West Bengal is the land where the national song Vande Mataram was created. This is the land of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhaya. But here the song is being misinterpreted to serve vote bank politics,” Modi said at a poll rally in Barrackpore.

The people of the country should be wary of such forces who think “hundred times” before shouting slogans in favour of the motherland in order to serve the purposes of their vote bank politics, the prime minister said.

“Mamata Banerjee is also a part of this group. The people of Bengal will not spare her for supporting those who are opposing our country,” he said.

Claiming that it was BJP which honoured the contributions and sacrifices of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Indian National Army, Modi said political parties, including Trinamool Congress have never honoured their contributions are now questioning the valour of armed forces.

“They (the political parties) are speaking in the same tune as Pakistan and are questioning the (Balakot) air strikes,” he said.

Elated over the huge turnout at his rally at Barrackpore, Modi said Mamata Banerjee has “lost her cool” after seeing it.

Under TMC’s rule “all three – mother, motherland and people (Ma, maati, manush which is TMC’s slogan) are suffering”, he said.

Referring to the closed jute mills in the industrial belt of Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas district, Modi said, “First the Left Front and now didi’s daman (atrocity) have put the locks on jute factories of the area. The hooliganism in trade unions and syndicates have forced the jute industries to close down.”

In West Bengal syndicate means a business run by persons allegedly enjoying political patronage who force builders and contractors to buy construction materials, often of inferior quality, at high prices.