7 years after Sonia Gandhi’s ill-timed “Maut Ka Saudagar” jibe helped Narendra Modi to win emphatically in Gujarat, the Prime Ministerial candidate has been branded as “Butcher of Gujarat” in Bengal. Normally suave Derek-O’Brien tweeted this tirade to counter Modi’s direct bid for supremacy in didi’s land. From sending flowers after Modi won in Gujarat, to launching a vicious personal attack via spokesperson, Mamata – Modi relation has truly undergone a full circle.
Modi vows to investigate Saradha scam
Narendra Modi, buoyed by favourable response from grassroots decided to make a quick stop to Bengal before the third phase of polling in 30th. He campaigned for four BJP candidates in Sreerampur stadium. Reports suggest that the crowd was so upbeat that ambience was almost like an IPL match.
The Prime Ministerial candidate was aggressive from the beginning. He accused didi of losing her mamata( sympathy) for people after becoming C.M. Modi said Mamata has done more harm to Bengal in 34 months than Left did in 34 years. In his nearly 1 hour long speech, Modi dedicated a significant amount of time to corner Mamata on Sharada scam. He accused the state government of protecting the kingpins behind the scam. Modi also raised questions about how didi’s paintings which earlier were sold for maximum of 5 lakh rupees suddenly fetched 1 crore 80 lakhs.
These accusations are not new. The jibe regarding exorbitant prices paid by a certain businessman for didi’s paintings have been often repeated by Leftists. Modi merely cashed these accusations to raise the pitch of the battle. He vowed to investigate the Saradha chit fund scam completely and put perpetrators to jail if NDA comes to power.
Soon after Modi’s rally ended, national spokesperson of TMC Derek-O’Brien tweeted his response. In an unusually harsh manner he called the Gujarat C.M as butcher and then ironically asked him to refrain from personal attacks!!
Derek even raked up the issue of Modi’s wife saying that, “The Butcher of Gujarat could not take care of his own wife. How will he take care of this great nation?” Derek clarified that the entire amount obtained from selling paintings were used in noble causes and party activities. He challenged Modi to give proof that one of the paintings was sold for 1.8 crores or else face defamation. According to TMC spokesperson, Gujarat CM has no answer for Bengal model of development.
Challenging the status –quo
For long it was believed that Mamata Banerjee will coast to victory in most of the seats. The party even declared that they will be the third largest in terms of seats after elections. Narendra Modi with his barrage of charges in successive rallies has forced TMC to get out of their comfort zone. Modi has also tried to change the discourse in this election. Just like he raked up the Vadra issue in Delhi, Gujarat CM mentioned about the presence of illegal Bangladeshis in the state warning them to start packing their bags.
In reality Modi is unlikely to do anything about these illegal migrants even if he becomes P.M. But it was a subtle way of peddling his brand of soft hindutwa that goes well with his core support base. He also appealed to significant proportion of Hindi speaking citizens of Bengal alleging that C.M treats them like guests.
More rallies planned
The huge support Modi received on Sunday has enthused the ranks and file of state BJP. They believe that the saffron outfit can win as many as 5 seats and play spoiler in many more. Thus in all possibility, Modi will be back for campaigning in the last two phases in Bengal. Win or lose, he has undeniably spiced up the elections tossing away all pre-judged equations.