Congress says Modi an NRI PM

Though Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee did not attend a rally organised by her party in Kolkata on Monday, her nephew and party MLA Abhishek Banerjee compared her to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that West Bengal has got an austere chief minister as opposed to an “NRI (Non-Resident Indian) PM”.

“The PM has become an NRI PM. He has become the foreign minister. He drives in a fancy car. Mamata Banerjee has been working hard. She wears chappals and a cheap saree,” Banerjee said, a day after BJP president Amit Shah held a rally in Kolkata and dared the West Bengal chief minister to stop the BJP in her state.

On Mamata’s absence at the rally on Monday, her nephew Banerjee said, “You don’t need to get a royal Bengal tiger to fight a mouse.” Before the rally, he said his aunt does not want to counter Shah personally since she thinks “he is not of her stature”.

Launching a scathing attack on Trinamool Congress over a host of issues including Burdwan blast and Saradha scam, Shah had on Sunday said the countdown for the departure of the Mamata Banerjee government had begun. He also accused Mamata of “shielding the Saradha scamsters and harbouring terrorists”.

At the Monday rally, Trinamool leader and state minister Subrata Mukherjee rubbished Shah’s allegations. “I have not seen Gandhi. I have seen Mamata Banerjee. She pays for her tea and rides her own car,” he said. “Amit Shah said didi 33 times. If he had said Jai Shri Ram as many times, he would’ve met Ram,” Mukherjee said.

The Trinamool Congress refused to attach much importance to Shah’s rally and described it as a grand flop show with poor attendance. “Such a meeting is organised by our block presidents,” TMC Secretary-General Partha Chatterjee said. The party also alleged that the BJP was using the CBI and the NIA in the Saradha chit fund scam for political purposes.