Slamming West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the lack of communication with the Prime Minister's Office during the advent of Cyclone Fani, PM Modi on Monday has said that 'Didi's arrogance has stopped her from responding to his calls,' while addressing a rally in Tamluk, West Bengal.
"Didi's arrogance is so big, that she did not talk to me. I kept waiting that she would call me back, but she did not do so. I called her again as I was concerned about the welfare of the people of West Bengal. I wished to talk to Mamata Didi as she is West Bengal's CM, but she did not respond to my second call either," he said.
He continued his attack on the Trinamool chief alleging that she was putting politics over people's welfare, thus applying brakes in West Bengal's progress.
"You can estimate how important is politics to Didi, that she does not have concern for the people of West Bengal. This act of choosing politics over the welfare of the people has always destroyed the nation. Due to this perspective of 'speed-breaker' Didi the progress of West Bengal has encountered a brake."
Assuring those affected by the cyclone of the Central government's help, PM Modi added they(Centre) were in coordination with the state government to help those in need.
"To assess the destruction occurred due to the cyclone, I had wished to sit down with the administration here and gather information as to how the Central Government could help West Bengal. But arrogant Speed-breaker Didi refused to do so. Trapped under Didi's governance, I wish to assure the people of West Bengal that the Central government stand in full solidarity and is helping the state government in rehabilitating those affected by the cyclone. The way in which India has tackled Cyclone Fani is a matter of global interest," he said.
On Saturday, TMC had claimed that PM Modi spoke only to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik regarding Cyclone Fani. Instead of contacting West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, the party said, PM Modi spoke to West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi about the ground situation about the cyclone and alleged that he did not respect the federal structure of India.
"We have no problem that PM called the Governor to inquire about the ground level situation. But only Chief Minister and state government officials can give him the real picture at the ground level", said another senior TMC leader.
Speaking to Republic TV, sources said that the claim by the Trinamool is incorrect and that the Prime Minister did attempt to get through to CM Banerjee. The sources added that the Prime Minister's staff made two attempts to connect PM Modi and the West Bengal CM on Saturday morning. During the first attempt, the staff was told by the West Bengal CM's office that Banerjee was on tour and that the call will be returned and during the second attempt the CM's office told them that the call will be returned. This was confirmed by the Prime Minister's speech in Tamluk.
Seven seats are in the poll fray on Monday in West Bengal, which is polling in all seven phases of the Lok Sabha, namely - Bangaon, Barrackpore, Howrah, Uleberia, Sreerampur, Hooghly, and Arambag. Results will be announced on May 23.