With name-calling and personal attacks increasingly becoming the norm in the election battle for West Bengal, senior Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien responded to BJP chief Amit Shah's latest diatribe against the Mamata Banerjee government by calling him "puke-worthy" and a "low-life".
"That puke-worthy Shah had the audacity to use the term 'Kangal Bangla' today at a rally. The people of Bengal will give him and Modi a fitting reply in Phase 7. That #LowLife insults Bengal," Derek O'Brien tweeted.
The Trinamool party's chief spokesperson was responding to Amit Shah's remark on the Bengal government where he said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had reduced the state from "Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal) to Kangal Bangla (destitute Bengal)".
The BJP chief made these remarks after the state government had allegedly refused permission for his chopper to land in Kolkata, and withdrew permission for one of the two rallies in the city.
Nine constituencies in West Bengal will vote in the final phase of election on May 19, including Diamond Harbour from where Ms Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee is seeking reelection.
As the 2019 general election enters its final lap, the back-and-forth attacks between Ms Banerjee's Trinamool Congress and the BJP have become more intense. The 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal have fostered a huge clash between the two parties, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Mr Shah, along with the party's other star campaigner Yogi Adityanath, having held around a dozen rallies in the state.
Mamata Banerjee has often accused PM Modi of lowering the level of political discourse. "I don't speak his language. He must know that he is the PM and when he is talking, people are listening. Political speech is also about culture. I have been called a goon and whatnot. But I don't talk like that," she had told NDTV in an interview last month.
On Sunday, the Trinamool chief slammed PM Modi by likening him to Duryodhan, the main villain of the epic Mahabharat. "Even Duryodhan and Dushasan didn't lie as much as Modi has," she had said.
Last week, Ms Banerjee had said she wanted to give PM Modi "a tight slap of democracy". This was prompted by the prime minister's attack on her where he called the chief minister Bengal's "Triple T -- Trinamool, Tolabaazi, Tax". "Tolabaazi" is a near-abusive term used in Bengali to describe organised extortion
The BJP, which has made significant inroad in in Bengal since it won two seats in 2014, expects to win a larger share this time, setting off any losses it suffers in the heartland states, particularly Uttar Pradesh.