The Trinamool Congress's backhanded thank-you note for the BJP's Locket Chatterjee earned the party an equally sardonic reply from the MP on Monday as the fight for Mamata Banerjee's closely watched by-election contest heated up.
The Trinamool launched the offensive with the party's spokesperson Kunal Ghosh taking the first shot at Ms Chatterjee:
Thanks and congrats 'star campaigner' @me_locket for not campaigning at Bhabanipur. Inspite of many requests from BJP U hvn't come.— Kunal Ghosh (@KunalGhoshAgain) September 27, 2021
As a friend wish your success wherever u r.
World is too small.
Hope those days will return again when u started your political innings.
Locket Chatterjee returned the dig with one of her own:
You should focus on ensuring that Mamata Banerjee doesn't lose from Bhabanipur. https://t.co/VsDKrGEEjR— Locket Chatterjee (@me_locket) September 27, 2021
Speaking to news agency ANI, she also rubbished the suggestion that she was deliberately staying away from the campaign.
"I'm focusing on Uttarakhand as BJP's election in-charge. There are star campaigners like Dilip Ghosh and Suvendu Adhikari for Bhabanipur by-polls. This election is doubtful for Mamata Banerjee. This is why this fake news is surfacing" she said.
Mr Ghosh, 53, decided he could not let her have the last word in the matter:
Ha Ha!— Kunal Ghosh (@KunalGhoshAgain) September 27, 2021
Mamatadi will win with large margin. U want this also.
I know that u hv to write in favour of yr party. But still I thank u that even in this reply also u didn't mention the name of the bjp candidate.
कहि पे निगाहे, कहि पे निशाना।
Well done. https://t.co/3ew8YnUfP4
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be up against BJP's greenhorn Priyanka Tibrewal, a 41-year-old lawyer at the Calcutta High Court, in by-polls for the Bhabanipur constituency on Thursday.
Ms Banerjee, who took charge as Chief Minister for the third time after the Trinamool Congress's mega victory in the state election, needs to win the Bhabanipur by-poll as an MLA to retain the top post. The results will be out on October 3.
She had lost to her former aide-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari in Nandigram even though the Trinamool managed to improve its previous tally by two seats to 213 out of 294.
The Bhabanipur poll is seen as extremely critical for the BJP, which is heavily invested in defeating Mamata Banerjee after it failed to oust her in the state polls.