Addressing an election rally in West Bengal Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday attacked TMC leaders for calling those wearing saffron, sporting tilak and choti as "rakshas", and declared he does not believe in "seasonal faith".
"Earlier, Mamata Didi had issues with chants of ''Jai Shri Ram'', over immersion of Durga idols. Now TMC has problems with people wearing saffron, sporting tilak and choti (tuft of hair), they are calling them 'rakshas' (demons)," Modi told an election rally in Joynagar.
Mamata didi has problem with slogans of 'Jai Shri Ram', she also had a problem with immersion of Durga idols, Bengal knows about these. Now didi has problem with 'tilak' & saffron clothes. Didi's people are now calling people with 'chotis' as 'rakshas': PM Modi in Jayanagar pic.twitter.com/iUtXJsqqFg— ANI (@ANI) April 1, 2021
PM Modi also asserted a BJP wave was blowing across West Bengal where the party will win over 200 of the state's 294 assembly seats.
He was referring to the recent public declaration by Banerjee of her "gotra" (clan), an unusual thing for the Bengal leader to do, during the campaigning for the Nandigram seat.
The revelation had prompted Union Minister Giriraj Singh, who sports a choti, to ask," Do you consider Rohingyas and other infiltrators as ''Shandilya'' (Banerjee''s gotra) and offer them the red carpet."
Singh's comment invited a sharp retort from TMC MP Mohua Moitra.
"Giriraj says Mamata's from Rohingya clan. Proud of it. Far better than being from the chotiwala rakshasa clan," Moitra tweeted.
Union Minister Giriraj Says Mamata's from 'Rohingya Clan'
Proud of it.
Far better than being from the Chotiwala Rakshasa Clan!— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) March 31, 2021
Singh often identifies himself as "Shandilya" on social media.
Claiming that Mamata Banerjee's exit from power is certain on May 2, the day votes will be counted, he said, "People of Bengal are not only participating in an election but are preparing the road for resurgence of the state."
"Didi has to go," he declared at another rally at Uluberia in Howrah district, claiming "the people of Nandigram have already fulfilled the dream".
"Read the writing on the wall...the people of Bengal will punish you in the elections," Modi asserted, claiming that Banerjee is also aware of the fate that awaits her after the first phase of polling.
The TMC chief is pitted against BJP's Suvendu Adhikari, her one-time close aide-turned-foe in Nandigram, where an anti-land acquisition movement had catapulted her to power in 2011 and also placed Adhikari in an exalted position in state politics.
Modi asked Banerjee to clarify whether there is truth in the rumour that she is going to file nomination for another seat in the last phase of election.
"If you go anywhere else (to contest), the people of Bengal are prepared," he said.
The prime minister also hit back at the TMC for calling his Bangladesh trip unethical and violative of the model code of conduct for elections and defended his visits to temples there.
The TMC had written to the Election Commission alleging that Modi's recent visit to Bangladesh violated the model code of conduct in place for the West Bengal Assembly polls and some of his programmes there were "intended to influence the voting pattern" in certain constituencies.
"I visited one of the 51 Shaktipeeth Jeshoreshwari Kali temple in Bangladesh. TMC has taken umbrage. Is it wrong to pay obeisance to Shri Harichand Thakur (founder of the Matua sect) at Orakandi?
"I don't believe in showing seasonal faith (shraddha). We always take pride in our faith and tradition," he asserted.
The Matuas, a Dalit community, wield considerable influence in several districts of West Bengal and can tilt the scales in favour of any party in quite a few seats in an election.
He mounted a scathing assault on the TMC supremo for her accusations against "people of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh".
"You have taken oath of the Constitution which doesn't permit you to speak against other states or people of other states," he said, obviously referring to Banerjee's claim that BJP has brought goons from UP and Bihar to influence the ouctome of the election in Nandigram.
Taunting Banerjee for her decision to relinquish her Bhawanipore seat and contest from Nandigram, Modi said she is now realising that she committed a mistake.
The prime minister said Banerjee's appeal to 13 leaders of non-BJP parties to unite against the BJP stemmed from her anxiety over impending defeat.
"She is seeking support from people who in her eyes are outsiders and tourists and whom she would not have the time to meet earlier," Modi said.
In Joynagar, the prime minister referred to the death of Sova Majumder, the octogenarian mother of a BJP worker who died days after being allegedly assaulted by TMC supporters.
"Her face doesn't go away from before my eyes. After such a crime and atrocity, Didi asks people to be cool. TMC is not cool, its 'shool' (a spike) that's causing unbearable pain to the people of Bengal," he said.
Accusing Banerjee of pursuing appeasement politics, he said, "Illegal immigrants are your own, but you feel people of India are tourists and outsiders. Stop discriminating against people of this country by calling them outsiders."