KOLKATA: TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee Saturday sent a defamation notice to Narendra Modi, demanding an apology from the prime minister for "wildly fabricated allegations" against him at a rally earlier this week.
Modi has been given 36 hours to apologise or face legal proceedings, according to the notice served by Banerjee's lawyer, Sanjay Basu.
"... The malice with which you chose to invoke certain unverified, sensationalist and patently inaccurate information, ostensibly at the behest of your party members.
... has compelled my client to address you vide this letter," said the notice, sent to the PM's official residence and the BJP state headquarters.
The state BJP leadership termed it as a "meaningless move" out of fear of defeat in the Lok Sabha polls.
"You (PM Modi) made certain wildly fabricated allegations with the sole intent to mislead the people you were addressing, in order to besmirch my client's well-earned reputation.
Your speech punctuated by false, malicious and defamatory content, was an embodiment of political calculation and mischievous intent," the notice said.
Modi, during a rally in Diamond Harbour on May 15, had launched a broadside against West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee.
The prime minister had said that the days of the "bua-bhatija" government in the state are numbered, a charge he has often made referring to the CM and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
The TMC MP is considered the number two in the TMC and is seeking re-election from the Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha seat.
"Such vile and vindictive statements are unbecoming of the post you hold...
In the event, an unconditional apology is not issued within 36 hours, my client will be constrained to initiate appropriate proceedings against you in accordance with the laws of this country without any further notice," the notice said.
Reacting to the development, BJP state vice-president Jaiprakash Majumdar said, "The elections (seventh phase) are going to be held tomorrow.
Today, such a letter means nothing. It is a meaningless move out of fear of defeat."