Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, engaged in a pitched battle with Mamata Banerjee over violence at Amit Shah's rally, taunted the Bengal Chief Minister today, saying he wanted to see if she would allow his rally in Kolkata yesterday. The rallies of senior BJP leaders including Amit Shah and the party's star campaigner Yogi Adityanath have been a flashpoint in the Trinamool-ruled state, where the BJP is aiming to win 23 of 42 seats, reports NDTV.
The BJP has alleged that the Chief Minister is unnerved by the growing popularity of the party and has been trying her best to stop it. "I'm going to West Bengal for rally in Dum Dum. Let us see if Didi allows it. If she has her way, she will not allow my helicopter to land," the Prime Minister said. Earlier, the state government refused landing permission to choppers and even rallies.
On Monday, the government had withheld landing permission for Amit Shah's chopper and withdrew permission for one of his three rallies. Permission was also denied for a rally that was to be addressed by Yogi Adityanath.
Both rallies were to be held in Kolkata, which is voting on Sunday along with eight other seats in the state in the last phase of the national election. A day later, violence took place during the BJP chief's rally in Kolkata, triggering the most vitriolic war in this election between the BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress.
The rally at Dum Dum, near the Kolkata airport, would be the Prime Minister's last rally in the state, before Sunday's polling. Campaigning ends at 10 pm in Bengal today following the Election Commission's order to cut it short in view of Tuesday's violence.
Mamata Banerjee has alleged that the Election Commission is toeing the BJP line, allowing the Prime Minister's rally. Modi, at a rally in the state yesterday, had declared that Ms Banerjee is afraid of the outcome of the election and is "scared of her own shadow".
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