- "Mamata ji sends gifts to only one person," alleged Raj Babbar
- Trinamool helping the BJP's growth in Bengal, claims the Congress leader
- "Classic example of kushti and dosti," says Sitaram Yechury
Senior Congress leader Raj Babbar on Friday took a swipe at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, asking how the Trinamool chief knew the "size of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's kurtas", two days after the PM said in an interview that Ms Banerjee "personally" selected kurtas and sent him as gifts.
"Two products from West Bengal are famous across the world. One is sweets made of cottage cheese and another is the "kurta". But till date, Mamata ji has not sent these two to us or anyone else. If she wants to gift them, she sends it to only one person. So you can understand that she knows the size of a kurta. Earlier, we used to raise questions if the size of his chest is 56 inches or not," Raj Babbar said at a press conference in Kolkata.
PM Modi on Wednesday in a "non-political" interview to actor Akshay Kumar had claimed that he has many "good friends" in the opposition, including Mamata Banerjee.
Questioning the Trinamool chief's anti-BJP stand, Raj Babbar accused Mamata Banerjee of helping the BJP's growth in Bengal. He alleged that the ruling party in Bengal resorted to violence as it was afraid of defeat if polls were free and fair. "It is shameful that the party (Trinamool) doesn't have any respect for democratic norms," he claimed.
Raj Babbar drew flak from Trinamool's Partha Chatterjee, who said that the actor-turned-politician did not know courtesy. "He is not as experienced in politics, as he is in cinema. He doesn't know courtesy. He does not understand that courtesy and politics are not same," said the Trinamool leader.
CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury alleged that there was a secret pact between Bengal's ruling party and the BJP, and "kushti (wrestling) in Bengal and dosti (friendship) in Delhi" won't work.
The Left leader too questioned the need of keeping the gifts from Mamata Banerjee a hush-hush and wondered why PM Modi spoke about it only now.
"Why is it a secret that has to be told by PM Modi publicly now? Did you hear earlier ever about didi choosing kurtas for Modi? Why is this secrecy? This is a classic example of kushti and dosti... Is there a gameplan?" said Sitaram Yechury.
A bitter exchange over sweets and kurtas started between the Bengal Chief Minister and the PM Modi hours after the interview to Akshay Kumar. Mamata Banerjee responded to the Prime Minister's comment saying, it was Bengal's culture to welcome guests with sweets and gifts. "He will still get rossogollas but not a single vote," she said.
"I will send him rossogollas made of mud and stone chips - just like cashew nuts and raisins are used in laddoos. One bite and it will break the teeth. That's the kind of mithai I will send," Mamata Banerjee said at a campaign rally in Asansol, where PM Modi had mocked her on Tuesday saying the "PM's chair is not for auction".
With inputs from ANI and PTI