Joynagar, West Bengal: Targeting Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal once again, Amit Shah on Monday dared the state Chief Minister to arrest him for chanting 'Jai Shri Ram.'
Shah was speaking at a rally in Joynagar before proceeding to Kolkata. "Mamata didi, I am chanting Jai Shri Ram here and leaving for Kolkata. Arrest me if you have guts," he said. This, however, is not the first time that the BJP president has thrown an open challenge to Mamata and has blatantly questioned if she is against those who believe in Lord Ram.
The two leaders have sparred over the matter since Mamata reportedly got out of her car while on an election campaign in Chandrakona in West Midnapore district after some people had chanted 'Jai Shri Ram'. This took place on May 5 and a video had gone viral in which Mamata was seen asking those who had chanted 'Jai Shri Ram' to face her instead of running away. This prompted BJP to ask if it was a crime to praise God.
While Shah has been relentless in attacking Mamata over the issue, PM Narendra Modi too tore into the Trinamool Congress chief. "Didi has thrown people in jail for chanting 'Jai Shri Ram'. I thought of saying Jai Shri Ram here today so that she can throw me inside jail too. That way, the people of Bengal might be protected from the wrath of TMC regime," PM Modi had said at a rally in Jhargram on May 6. (Full report here)
BJP leaders and Mamata have been indulging in verbal duels regularly with the political discourse often deteriorating to deplorable levels. Mamata had said previously that she will send PM Modi sweets made of soil and add pebbles in them, and had also said she feels giving him a slap of democracy. The battle in West Bengal this Lok Sabha election has been intense and bitter with violence reported in each of the six phases conducted here so far. Both TMC and BJP have accused each other of undermining democracy, of bogus voting, of intimidation and of violence.