Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took swipes at each other at simultaneous election rallies in Bengal today. PM Modi added a twist to Ms Banerjee's "khela hobe (game on)" dig at him - he said it's "khela sesh (game over) if players keep criticising umpires", alluding to the Trinamool's repeated criticism of the Election Commission.
Ms Banerjee, campaigning at North 24 Parganas district, just 58 km from Tarkeshwar, where PM Modi was giving an election speech, attacked the BJP using the Trinamool's main weapon - that of calling the BJP a party of "outsiders" in Bengal.
"BJP wants to divide Bengal... These people want to end Bengal, its language, its culture," Ms Banerjee, on a wheelchair nursing her plastered leg, said. "I request to all the minority brothers and sisters not to allow their vote division," she said.
PM Modi used his Lok Sabha constituency, Varanasi, to make the Trinamool's "outsider" comment at BJP ricochet back to Ms Banerjee's party.
"Didi is now looking for a place outside. Welcome to Varanasi. There is a ship that goes from Haldia to Varanasi. One more thing, the people of my Benaras, they are so large hearted they won't call you a tourist or outsider. They are as large hearted as the people of Bengal," the Prime Minister said.
"In Varanasi, you will find a lot of people with tilak, saying Jai Shri Ram. Didi, then what will happen to you? Who will you be angry with?" the Prime Minister said.
The third of the eight-phase election in Bengal will be held on April 6. Voting in Nandigram, from where Ms Banerjee is contesting, was held in the second phase on Thursday.
PM Modi has been taking a whirlwind tour of Bengal to add power to the BJP's campaign in its bid to dislodge the government run by Ms Banerjee's Trinamool Congress for 10 years.
"Didi says people take money to attend BJP rallies. Didi, Bengalis are self-respecting people. Didi, you have insulted the people of Bengal with this statement. Did anyone come here today for money?" PM Modi said in Hooghly today.
"A major reason for Didi's bewilderment is her report card of 10 years. Old industries have been shut down. Possibilities of new industries, new investment, new business and employment have also been closed down," the Prime Minister said.