KOLKATA: In the midst of Bhowanipore bypolls, a fresh war of words erupted between the TMC and the BJP on Sunday. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is contesting the assembly seat to become an MLA in order to continue as the administrative head of the state.
TMC minister Firhad Hakim, who is campaigning door-to-door for his party supremo, rubbished BJP's claim of giving their rivals a tough fight. "Who is she. How the BJP's candidate is useful? What is her contribution to our society? Is it an edible item or useful for our hair?," the minister said attacking BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal.
Priyanka, who is one of the petitioners in post-poll violence cases against the TMC in Kolkata High Court which resulted in a CBI probe, was quick to respond. She said, "I defeated the TMC-ruled state government in the high court. He (Hakim) should have congratulated me first. The verdict of Bhowanipore's voters on September 30 will help him to identify who I am."
Referring to Priyanka’s defeat in the recent Assembly elections from Entally constituency, Hakim labelled her as a bacha meye (young girl). "She is a young girl. She had been defeated earlier in the Assembly elections. As no senior BJP leader was ready to contest against Mamata Banerjee, they have pushed the young girl into this battle-ground," he said.
Admitting her contender is a senior politician, Priyanka said, "My rival Mamata Banerjee and her campaigner Firhad Hakim are much senior and older than me. But I am here to fight the battle to save democracy and the people of Bengal from TMC’s terror."
Bengal BJP accused the ruling TMC of attacking its candidate in such poor fashion to which the electorates do not approve. "The people of Nandigram rejected Mamata Banerjee and the same verdict she will face in Bhowanipore," said BJP’s spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya.
Both the TMC and the BJP has pressed its heavyweights into action for the high-voltage Assembly elections. Mamata assigned her prominent lieutenants like Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee and Madan Mitra to launch massive campaign to ensure victory in her erstwhile constituency. The BJP, too, is all set to engage its high-profile campaigners which include Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Bihar’ singer-turned-politician Manoj Tiwari and former TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi, who joined the saffron camp, considering the character of the electorates of Bhowanipore consisting of 40% non-Bengal voters.