Day after Mamata Banerjee's Opposition unity call, Narendra Modi to address poll rally in Bengal
The BJP is locked in a tightly contested election in West Bengal with the ruling Trinamool Congress
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party in Assam and West Bengal on Thursday. The prime minister will start his day with a public rally in Assam's Kokrajhar at 11 am today. He will then move to Bengal again for a public meeting in Jaynagar at 2:30 pm followed by another one, the last for the day, in Uluberia at 4 pm.
The BJP is locked in a tightly contested election in West Bengal with the ruling Trinamool Congress. In Assam, the party is up against Congress, which has formed some key alliances and the fight could be close in the northeastern state.
On Wednesday, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to leaders of 14 Opposition parties, including Congress, saying the BJP wanted to establish a “one-party authoritarian rule” in India and reduce state governments to “mere municipalities”.
Banerjee, in her three-page letter, said the Centre's recent decision to pass the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill was one in a "series of assaults" by the BJP on “democracy and Constitutional Federalism”.
The Bengal chief minister addressed her letter to Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, MK Stalin, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti and CPI (ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya.
Last Wednesday, Modi countered Banerjee's "insider-outsider" poll plank, saying “a son of this soil” will be the BJP chief minister in Bengal. He said the TMC under Banerjee had done nothing but given Bengal corruption and misrule.
At his Kharagpur rally, he said the BJP will work to improve agriculture, irrigation, and cold storage facilities in the region.
"We will also improve the healthcare facilities and rural roads. We will ensure clean drinking water to every household in the region. We are committed to the all-round development of this region," he said.
The voting for the second phase (eight in total) in which 30 seats in Bengal go to the polls began on Thursday morning.
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The commission said it is a matter of deep regret that a "media narrative was sought to be weaved hour after hour to misguide voters, by a candidate who also happens to be CM of the state"
While the third phase will mark the end of the voting process in Assam, Bengal will see another five phases before the results are declared on 2 May