- Mamata Banerjee slams BJP over CBI questioning Abhishek Banerjee's wife
- "Dangabaaz" dig was viewed as a direct response to BJP's "tolabaaz" taunt
- Bengal elections are likely to take place in April-May this year
Mamata Banerjee today launched a fierce attack on the BJP over a CBI probe involving her nephew Abhishek Banerjee's wife and targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi using terms like "Dangabaaz (rioter)" and demon. Speaking from the same spot where PM Modi had campaigned two days ago for the approaching Bengal election, the Chief Minister also challenged the BJP to "arrest" 20 lakh Trinamool Congress workers in the state, including herself.
"PM Narendra Modi is the biggest dangabaaz in the country," Mamata Banerjee said, referring to the "tolabaaz" or "extortionist" taunt that the BJP uses for Trinamool leaders. Addressing a Trinamool Congress rally at Hooghly near Kolkata for the state election three months away, she proclaimed that a "worst fate" awaited the PM than that of former US President Donald Trump, who lost the election in November.
"The country is being ruled by a doitya and a danab (Bengali for demons). They will try to break our spine. They will infiltrate. They will grab Bengal. What do you want? Bengal to stay Bengal or whatever the BJP makes of it? Bengal will control Gujarat. Gujarat will not control Bengal," Ms Banerjee thundered, throwing in some more Bengali insults like "Hodol Kutkut" and "Kimbhoot-Kimakar" (roughly translated as fat, ugly and strange).
"I will be the goalkeeper in the assembly polls and BJP will not be able to score a single goal."
Mamata Banerjee's sharp comments came a day after her nephew and Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee's wife Rujira was questioned at home by the CBI in a case involving bribes allegedly taken from the coal mafia. Rujira Banerjee's sister was also questioned earlier.
"You can kill me, you can thrash me. But can you disrespect a woman? The bahu (daughter-in-law) of my house? And call her coal thief," the Chief Minister railed.
"You are calling our mothers and daughters coal thieves? You are hardly spotless. We know everything but I won't say anything as it is beneath me."
At the rally, several celebrities, including actors like Sayoni Dutta and June Maliya and cricketer Manoj Tiwari, joined the Trinamool Congress and raised the slogan "Khela Hobey (Game On)" adopted by Bengal's ruling party, challenged aggressively by the BJP this time. The Trinamool's recruitment drive seeks to rival the mass influx into the BJP of Trinamool leaders, including some of Mamata Banerjee's top strategists.
Reacting to Ms Banerjee's attacks, BJP leader Amit Malviya accused her of body-shaming. "Sensing an inevitable saffron surge across West Bengal, Pishi (BJP's name for the Chief Minister) is clearly jittery and resorting to name-calling, something culturally evolved people of West Bengal had never witnessed in public discourse," he tweeted.
"From body shaming, calling PM Kimbhoot Kimakar and and HM (Amit Shah) Hodol Kutkut. Pishi has lost it!"