West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at the Matua temple at Orakandi in Bangladesh was with an eye on elections in West Bengal. The TMC supremo also alleged that Modi violated the model code of conduct through his speech at the temple, holy to the Matua community spread over India and Bangladesh.
However, Modi in his speech at the temple had not made any election promises. Banerjee said at a public meeting here, "Modi is delivering a speech at a temple in Bangladesh with an eye on elections in West Bengal." The first phase of voting of an eight phase poll was completed today.
"This is total violaton of election code of conduct, we are taking up the issue with Election Commission," she said. The Matua community in West Bengal is estimated to be 30-million strong. Modi during his two day trip to Bangladesh to attend Bangladesh's 50th anniversary of independence, had visited the temple at Oranakandi, birthplace to the Matau community's spiritual guru Harichand Thakur as well as the temple of Jessoreshwari at Ishwaripur in Satkhira.
The chief minister said "our PM goes to a foreign country and speaks with an eye on a section of voters, what about that?" She alleged that Modi had earlier canvassed for Donald Trump's bid for re-election to the President's post in the US. Modi had at a rally in Texas in 2019, come up with the slogan "Ab ki baar , Trump Sarkar" (This time, Trump Government). "And now during assembly polls in Bengal you are going to Bangladesh to peddle lies before a section of people, to mislead a section of voters here," she said rhetorically addressing the Prime Minister.
Banerjee recalled the scrapping Bangladeshi actor Firdaus's visa during 2019 Lok Sabha elections "as he took part in a rally here" and wondered why Modi's visa should not be dealt with in a similar manner. "Firdaus had just attended one rally and said few lines before a crowd being a popular star in both countries and someone from BJP complained against him to the union home ministry and his visa was cancelled," Banerjee pointed out.
Pointing out that the BJP often accused her of bringing in Bangladeshi "infiltrators", she wondered why Modi "now goes to Bangladesh to do marketing (sic)" for votes.