KOLKATA: With four days left before campaigning ends for the first phase of polling on March 27, mercury has soared in West Bengal’s electoral battleground. Heavyweight campaigners crisscrossed two districts on Monday. Union minister Smriti Irani and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee were locked in a war of words, addressing rallies in East Midnapore and Bankura, respectively.
Irani addressed three rallies in East Midnapore district. The Nandigram constituency, where Mamata is contesting against BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari, comes under East Midnapore. The CM, too, attended three rallies and unleashed a scathing attack on BJP.
Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee also addressed three rallies in East Midnapore. BJP’s state president Dilip Ghosh led a roadshow in West Midnapore. Sanyukt Morcha’s Mohammad Salim, a politburo member of CPI(M), and Indian Secular Front founder Abbas Siddiqui also addressed three rallies in the district.
“Khela hobe. Emon khela hobe BJP boundaryir baire giye porbe (A game will take place. Such a game that BJP will be hit out of the boundary line),” Mamata said. Irani hit back. “Banglar ghorer meye bairer loker sathe khelche? Uni banglar meyeder sathe, goribder sathe khelchen (Is Bengal’s own daughter playing with outsiders? She is playing with the women and poor people of Bengal),” the MP said in Bengali, taking a jibe at Mamata’s effort to brand BJP as a party of outsiders.
Mamata described BJP as a venomous cobra, which will bite if it manages to come to power in West Bengal. Branding the state’s ruling party an organisation full of corrupt leaders, Irani said: “TMC’s goons did not even spare the towers of cell phone providers in their areas. They steal the battery of the towers.’’
Reminding people of the promises mentioned in her party manifesto, Mamata said: “Drinking water will be supplied to all the households. More than 70 lakh families have already been brought under the state government’s drinking water supply scheme.’’