Leaders of Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress, riled over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s taunt to Mamata Banerjee on whether she wants to contest from another seat, gave a decided negative on Thursday, albeit off the record. What infuriated party MP Mahua Moitra was something else.
“There is something we have in Bengal called ‘rock-er chhele‘, which means a street-side fellow who sits on a wall and who basically calls out to every lady walking past, saying “Diddi, ei diddi“. This is Prime Minister doing this,” Ms Moitra told NDTV on Thursday.
Asked if she meant it was a catcall, Ms Moitra shot back, “Don’t take it out of context. Please. But doesn’t it sound like that? What does it sound like?”
Then she went on to add: “That the Prime Minister in a rally with lakh of people (talks) about a sitting Chief Minister saying (mockingly) ‘Diddi o diddi‘. Would you say that? would he say that about his mother? Would he say that about his sister? Would he say that about his estranged wife? Would he say that about anybody? How is that okay? Is this Prime Minister going to come and teach us about decorum? This is a Prime Minister sitting here chortling a sitting Chief Minister in the cheapest, basest way possible.”
PM Modi had jeered at the Chief Minister during a rally in Uluberia on Thuesday evening as the second phase of polling in the state was in progress.
With all eyes on Nandigram, where Mamata Banerjee has taken on her protege – turned arch enemy Suvendu Adhikari who is representing the BJP, the Prime Minister had sneered at her chances of a victory.
Pointing to her Wednesday’s call for unity to opposition leaders, PM Modi had said, “Didi your action shows that you are losing from Nandigram. Your action shows that you have given up. Diddi…O…Diddi, there is a rumour that you will file a nomination from another constituency. Is there any truth in it?”
Mahua Moitra — who joined the Trinamool Congress after a career as an investment banker — later tweeted, “Contesting from second seat?’ PM Modi jabs Mamata Banerjee. Yes Mr. Prime Minister, she will. And it will be Varanasi! So go get your armour on.”
‘Contesting from second seat?’
PM Modi jabs Mamata Banerjee
Yes Mr. Prime Minister, she will.
And it will be Varanasi!
So go get your armour on.
— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) April 1, 2021
The fiery first-time MP from Krishnanagar has made headlines with her outspoken remarks inside parliament and out.
Last month, the government contemplated action against her over her remarks in the Lok Sabha on a former Chief Justice of India.
In a defiant tweet, Ms Moitra said, “It would be a privilege indeed if a breach of privilege motion is initiated against me for speaking the truth during India’s darkest hour”.
After the government dropped the idea, she told NDTV, “The standard of national discourse has become such that speaking the truth is seen as a revolutionary act”.