Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee never shies away from a war of words. Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused her of not talking to him when he tried to contact her to talk cyclone Fani, Banerjee claimed the PM just wanted a photo-op. (Catch Complete Coverage of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Here)
Speaking at a rally in Gopiballabpur, Banerjee said, “The last time I had gone to visit all the places which were heavily affected by floods. Where were you? You are an ‘expiry PM’. You’ve come here to do politics, you’ve come here for a rally. That’s why you’ve come to Kalaikunda.”
Reports quote her as adding, “Are we your servants that you will call us there and we will have to attend your official meeting? If you had not come for an election rally, we could’ve done an official meet.”
Some reports have suggested that Banerjee turning distant stems from PM Modi’s revelation that he was on cordial terms with the CM who even sent him kurtas. This, said reports, led her to ensure that she didn’t share a dais with the PM before the elections get over.
Banerjee added, “I will not share the stage with you during elections, I will brief whoever becomes the new PM. During the last floods, when Jhargram and other areas were ravaged, where were you? When the last flood came, you didn’t release a single penny. Whatever has happened in cyclone Fani, we have the money to restore it.”
She added, “You are just an expiry Prime Minister. You are just a PM in name, not in deed. Why will I meet you? How dare you propose a meeting with state officials without the presence of my ministers. Do you want a photo-op? In any case, no one will get that money. Unlike you, Didi doesn’t need a plane to roam around Bengal. We don’t need your favour before elections.”
Earlier in the day, PM Modi had said, “I am just back from Odisha after reviewing the post-cyclone situation. I also wanted to speak to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over phone to discuss the issue. I had called her, but Didi is so arrogant that she didn’t speak to me. I waited for her call but she didn’t get back to me.”