West Bengal polls 2021: Narendra Modi's speech at Matua temple in Bangladesh violated MCC, claims Mamata Banerjee

The first phase of the Assembly election was held in 30 constituencies on Saturday. The TMC chief addressed rallies in the state's Kharagpur, Narayangarh, and Pingla

Press Trust of India March 27, 2021 21:38:47 IST
West Bengal polls 2021: Narendra Modi's speech at Matua temple in Bangladesh violated MCC, claims Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee addressed a rally in Kharagpur on Saturday. ANI

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at the Matua temple in Bangladesh's Orakandi "was with an eye on elections in West Bengal". The first phase of the eight-phased Assembly election was held in 30 constituencies on Saturday.

The TMC chief addressed rallies in the state's Kharagpur, Narayangarh, and Pingla areas.

In the Kharagpur rally, Mamata also accused Modi of violating the Model Code of Conduct by his speech at the temple. She said, "Modi is delivering a speech at a temple in Bangladesh with an eye on elections in West Bengal. This is total violation of election code of conduct, we are taking up the issue with Election Commission."

The temple is an important structure to the Matua community, which is spread over India and Bangladesh. The Matua community in West Bengal is estimated to be 30-million strong.

However, Modi in his speech at the temple had not made any election promises, PTI reported.

Modi is on a two-day trip to Bangladesh to attend Bangladesh's 50th anniversary of independence. On Saturday, he visited the temple at Oranakandi, which is the birthplace of the Matau community's spiritual guru Harichand Thakur. He also visited the temple of Jessoreshwari at Ishwaripur in Satkhira.

The chief minister added, "Our prime minister goes to a foreign country and speaks with an eye on a section of voters, what about that?"

She was apparently referring to Modi's visit to the US in 2019. She alleged that Modi had canvassed for former US president Donald Trump's bid for re-election at a rally in Texas. Modi had used the slogan, "Ab ki baar , Trump Sarkar".

"And now during Assembly polls in Bengal you (Modi) are going to Bangladesh to peddle lies before a section of people, to mislead a section of voters here," she added.

Mamata also mentioned the scrapping of Bangladeshi actor Firdaus' visa to India during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections "for taking part in a rally here". She questioned why Modi's visa to Bangladesh 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 mMinistry and his visa was cancelled," she pointed out.

She added that the BJP often accused her of allowing entry to Bangladeshi "infiltrators", and questioned why Modi "now goes to Bangladesh to do marketing (sic)" for votes.

BJP 'hiring goons' to intimidate voters, claims Mamata in West Midnapore rallies

Meanwhile, in the two rallies in West Midnapore's Narayangarh and Pingla, Mamata targeted the BJP and accused it of  bringing in goons from outside the to stop people from exercising their franchise in Bengal. She then urged women to "confront the hoodlums with ladle, spatula" and other cooking utensils.

The TMC chief also dubbed TMC turncoat and current BJP candidate from Nandigram, Suvendu Adhikari, as a "traitor", and also targeted his family. She claimed that one member of the household was seen distributing money among people on Friday night, hours before the first phase of the election.

"Yesterday, one of the Adhikari brothers was seen distributing money... Women in the area caught him red-handed and asked the police to arrest him. They also handed over 30 goons, all hired from outside, to the police," she said.

Mamata asserted that the saffron party's fate will be sealed after the first phase of the polls. "The BJP is bringing in goons from outside Bengal to places where the party has some foothold. I will urge the women of the state to come out with 'hata and khunti' (ladle and spatula) and confront the hoodlums."

She further requested the Election Commission to ensure that the assembly polls are conducted in a fair manner.

"Delhi's Amit Shah wants to conduct the polls in Bengal. With due respect to the Election Commission, I urge the poll body to see to it that the elections are held in a free, fair and impartial manner," the chief minister underlined, taking a swipe at the Union Home Minister.

The TMC chief also said that she will be lodged in Purba Medinipur's Nandigram constituency, where polls are scheduled on 1 April, to keep an eye on the activities of 'mir jafars' (traitors).

Three members of the Adhikari family — which wields considerable influence in Purba Medinipur — have quit the TMC and joined the saffron camp over the past few months.

"I was responsible for giving them plum positions in public offices. They, however, betrayed the TMC and crossed over to the BJP... they were lured with money," she added.

 

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