A day after Trinamool Congress supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was seen riding a pillion to work, Union Minister Smriti Irani on Friday rode a scooter in a poll-bound state of West Bengal. The BJP leader was seen riding a scooter and conducting a roadshow in the Panchpota area of the South 24 Parganas district.
While Mamata's scooter ride was a symbolic protest against the fuel price rise — she was riding an e-scooter — Smriti on Friday took part in her party's roadshow in the district bordering Kolkata, ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in the state.
Taking part in the BJP's state-widePoriborton Yatra', Irani along with BJP MP Roopa Ganguly and Agnimitra Paul began the campaign in Gangajoara near Garia on the party's rath' -- a bus decked up with slogans and photos of the leaders.
The Union Minister commented on the harsh, derogatory words CM Mamata Banerjee had used against the PM recently in her rally. Mamata Banerjee has called PM Modi the ‘biggest rioter’ and had stated that he will meet a fate worse than Donald Trump’.
After covering a short distance, the minister got down from the 'rath' and took to a scooter, wearing a black helmet and a mask.
"When we began the 'rath yatra' today, the administration deliberately tried to delay it. We will ride two-wheelers, walk on foot because West Bengal is on the march towards change," Irani said.
Enthused by the minister's spontaneity, scores of BJP workers followed Irani on two-wheelers, chanting "Jai Shri Ram" and "Khela Hobey", meaning 'game on' -- a slogan first raised by the Trinamool Congress, which has now become the catchphrase of this election season.
Irani, the minister of textile, led the rally on the scooter for a few kilometres, often stopping as fervent supporters gathered, choking the road.
The minister interacted with the party's young supporters in fluent Bengali, besides reaching out to the people.
"I want to thank everybody. We are out today to take your blessings. You have already given an opportunity to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and during the elections in West Bengal, bless the BJP and the 'Lotus'," she said as a cordless mic was handed to her to speak.
The minister got on to the rath again a few kilometres later till Bhojerhat, around 20 km away from where she started the journey.
Irani's bike rally comes a day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took to the streets, riding an e-scooter to protest against the steep price rise of petrol and diesel.
With PTI inputs