This Article is From Apr 28, 2014

BJP hits back after Trinamool calls Modi 'butcher of Gujarat'

BJP hits back after Trinamool calls Modi 'butcher of Gujarat'
Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee's party, which on Sunday called the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi the "Butcher of Gujarat," is expected to continue its attack this morning. The BJP has advised the Trinamool Congress to take criticism in its stride.

On Sunday, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien tweeted, "Butcher of Gujarat air-dropped into Bengal. He has no answers to Bengal's development model. So, he is making personal attacks." (Read: Mamata Banerjee's party calls Narendra Modi 'butcher of Gujarat')

This morning, the BJP's Arun Jaitley pointed out that Mr O'Brien's remarks were prompted by Mr Modi's criticism of Ms Banerjee. "Well it's too late...He hasn't used this phrase for the last two years, but a slight criticism of Trinamool Congress and they react in this manner... Trinamool can be criticised. Their leaders must accept this, criticism doesn't mean that we are their personal enemies or anything," Mr Jaitley said.

Mr O'Brien's barrage of tweets attacking Mr Modi came minutes after the BJP leader spoke at an election rally in West Bengal, offering a scathing assessment of Mamata Banerjee's performance as the state's chief minister.

Mr Modi also targeted Ms Banerjee over last year's Saradha chit fund scam and promised an investigation "once we come to power." Ms Banerjee's political rivals have alleged that her party has deep links with Mr Sen. (Read: Saradha scam emerges as major issue in West Bengal polls)

The Congress has promptly offered its analysis. "Narendra Modi wanted Mamata Banerjee to join him. But since it is clear that she won't, he is making such comments against them now," said the party's Rashid Alvi.

Mamata Banerjee, seen as the likely big winner in Bengal in the general elections, has been part of a BJP-led government before, but has made it clear that she will not support an alliance led by Mr Modi.

She counts heavily on the support of the 26 per cent Muslim voters in her state.

Mr Modi's detractors accuse him of not doing enough to prevent the 2002 riots in his state, Gujarat, in which more than a 1000 people, mostly Muslims died. A Supreme Court inquiry has cleared Mr Modi of allegations of complicity, a clean chit accepted by a court, but Mr Modi's rivals have continued to attack him.