'Your 40 MLAs in Touch With Me': Modi Warns Mamata; Stunned TMC Complains EC About 'Horse Trading'
PM Modi in his rally address in Sreerampur had accused the West Bengal CM of nepotism, insisting she wants to politically establish her nephew - Abhishek Banerjee in West Bengal.
File photos of Mamata Banerjee and Narendra Modi.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed on Monday that 40 TMC MLAs were in touch with him and will desert their party once the BJP wins the general elections.
"Forty TMC MLAs are in touch with me and all your MLAs will desert you once the BJP wins the elections. Political ground has slipped from under your feet," Modi told an election rally in Sreerampur, targeting the West Bengal chief minister.
He also accused TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee of nepotism, insisting she wants to politically establish her nephew in West Bengal.
"With just a handful of seats, 'Didi' you can't reach Delhi. Delhi is far away. Going to Delhi is just an excuse. Her real intention is to politically establish her nephew," he said.
Banerjee's nephew Abhishek is a sitting MP from Diamond Harbour and the TMC candidate for the seat.
TMC MP and spokesperson Derek O'Brien hit out at the Prime Minister over the claims. Referring to him with the epithet "Expiry Babu" he tweeted, "Expiry Babu PM, let’s get this straight. Nobody will go with you. Not even one councillor. Are you election campaigning or horse trading! Your expiry date is near."
The MP then said that the party will be lodging a complaint with the Election Commission.
Expiry Babu PM , let’s get this straight. Nobody will go with you. Not even one councillor. Are you election campaigning or horse trading! Your expiry date is near. Today, we are complaining to the Election Commission. Charging you with horse trading #LokSabhaElection2019— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) April 29, 2019
The TMC has already lost five of its leaders to the saffron party. Anupam Hazra, Soumitra Khan, Arjun Singh, Humayun Kabir and Nishit Pramanik are now running on a BJP ticket. Of the five turncoats, Hazra and Khan are incumbent MPs who won on a TMC ticket in 2014.
While Hazra, the sitting MP from Bolpur, is contesting from Jadavpur this time, Khan has stuck to his constituency. Singh is the Bhatpara MLA and is now contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Barrackpore on a BJP ticket. Humayun Kabir, a minister in Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet is BJP’s candidate from Murshidabad. The Narendra Modi-led party has also fielded former youth TMC leader, Nishit Pramanik from Coochbehar.
The number of leaders leaving TMC for BJP is significant of the latter’s growing popularity in the urban pockets of the state. Moreover, BJP’s poll target of 23 seats in West Bengal has been nothing short of tempting for these candidates.
(With inputs from PTI)
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