first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday accused “TMC goondas” of vandalising the bust of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in violence during BJP president Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata on Tuesday, and promised to build a “grand statue” made of panchaloh (five metals) of the Bengali reformer at the same spot.Addressing a rally in Mau, eastern Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Modi alleged that workers of the TMC indulged in hooliganism.“Such people should be given the harshest of punishments,” he said.Mau is in the Ghosi Lok Sabha constituency that goes to the polls on May 19.Mr. Modi said Vidyasagar was not only Bengal’s “vibhooti” but also that of the entire country. “He was not only a great social reformer and educationist but also a guardian for the poor and Dalits.” He alleged that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee did not accept him as her Prime Minister even though he was elected after “the blessings” of 130 crore Indians. “She considers the PM of Pakistan as PM. But not the PM of India,” he stated.Mr. Modi, who is to address rallies later in the day in West Bengal, where campaigning has been restricted by a day, also said Ms. Banerjee was displaying an “anti-democratic mindset inebriated with power.” Referring to his scheduled rally in Dum Dum in Kolkata, he wondered if the Chief Minister would allow it to happen. “If she has her way, she won’t even allow our helicopter to land,” he said.Mr. Modi also tried to pit Ms. Banerjee and BSP chief Mayawati against each other a few moments after the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister came out in support of the TMC chief in the wake of the Election Commission of India (ECI) cutting short campaigning in West Bengal.Earlier in the day, Ms. Mayawati accused the BJP of “targeting” Ms. Banerjee as part of a well-planned “conspiracy” to shift attention from its “failures”. She said it was a “dangerous trend” that the “guru-chela,” a slant reference to Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah, were relentlessly after her. ”Haath dhoke peeche padhe hai,” she said.Mr. Modi shot back at her, saying like Ms. Mayawati targeted him and the ECI, he expected her to also have something to say to Ms. Banerjee for the way she targeted the people of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, calling them outsiders. “But it didn’t happen. Because she doesn’t care for you but wants to play the game of chairs,” he said.last_img