Slogans of "Jai Shri Ram" greeted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee when she drove into Chandrakona town on Saturday afternoon for last-minute campaigning in the Arambagh seat, which goes to the polls on Monday. Mamata Banerjee's car had just entered the town and was going past some supporters lined up along the street when slogans of "Jai Shri Ram" were shouted.
The Trinamool Congress chief immediately rolled down the window of her car and asked the driver to stop. Then she got off and asked those raising the slogans to come talk to her. But they fled.
Mamata Banerjee muttered her favourite term "Haridas" under her breath and left.
Although Haridas Pal is the name of a fictional character who was considered learned and noble, it is used by Bengalis to mock those suffering from delusions of grandeur.
Mamata Banerjee also faces a veritable challenge from the nearby Ghatal constituency, where its BJP candidate - former senior police officer Bharati Ghosh - has openly threatened to "thrash" Trinamool Congress workers if they don't stop "intimidating" voters.
"If they (Trinamool Congress workers) try to frighten anyone, we will pull them out of their houses and thrash them like dogs. I will get a thousand boys from Uttar Pradesh and deploy them here and then you won't be found," Ms Ghosh was seen saying in a video that has been widely shared on social media.
Mamata Banerjee responded by warning the BJP candidate against crossing the "Lakshman Rekha" of her patience.
Incidentally, Ms Ghosh - the former Superintendent of Police of West Medinipur and Jhargram - was once known for her closeness to the West Bengal Chief Minister.
Following accusations of bias against the Bengal police by the BJP, the Election Commission has announced that only central security personnel will oversee the voting process in the state in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha elections. The state police will not be allowed within 100 metres of the polling booths, it was declared.
Mamata Banerjee has, however, accused central security forces of forcing people to vote for the BJP.
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