Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, engaged in a bitter fight with the BJP since the violence at Amit Shah’s rally, today gave a report card for the BJP in the ongoing elections. The party will end up with less than a hundred seats, she predicted – immediately after accusing it of being a “goonda (rogue) party, spreading money trying to buy votes”. Then she gave a detailed account – much in the fashion of the BJP two days ago. The party said it expects at least 300 seats and even gave a break-up accounting for all the states.
“Andhra – Zero; Tamil Nadu – Zero; Maharashtra 20… 200 seats gone,” said Mamata Banerjee, who had to urgently edit her schedule last night after the Election Commission, taking note of Tuesday’s violence, cut short the campaign time for Bengal by a day.
Campaigning in Bengal has to end by 10 pm today. On Sunday, during the last phase of the national elections, polling will be held on nine seats of the state, including state capital Kolkata. The rest of its 42 seats have already voted.
The Chief Minister, who accused the Election Commission of being in league with the BJP yesterday, also said the Prime Minister must prove his allegation that Trinamool goons are behind the vandalism of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s statue that has triggered the furore.
Calling him a “liar”, Mamata Banerjee said, “Prove your allegations, otherwise we’ll drag you to jail”.
The Chief Minister also scoffed at the Prime Minister’s comment that he would build a bigger and better statue of Vidyasagar.
“Bengal has money to build a statue. Can he give back the 200 years old heritage?” she said. “We have proof (of BJP supporters’ involvement in the vandalism) and you say that TMC has done. Aren’t you ashamed? He should do sit ups for lying so much.”
Since Tuesday, the BJP and the Trinamool have been blaming each other for the violence and vandalism of the statue of Vidyasagar, a 19th century reformer and an icon in the state.
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