Mamata had asked Modi two days ago how he knew the poll result. “Are you god or superhuman?” she said at a rally in Hooghly’s Khanakul on Sunday.
Modi’s response came on Tuesday at a rally in north Bengal’s Coochbehar. “Recently, you appealed against splitting Muslim votes. It shows that the Muslim vote bank, once your strength, is slipping away. Muslims too have started distancing themselves from you,” Modi said, explaining the rationale behind her “Mussalman ek ho jao, mujhe bachao (Muslims unite to save me)” appeals.
“Remember what Didi had once said? I am ready to be kicked by the cow that gives me milk,” Modi told the crowd at a Howrah rally later in the afternoon. “She has broken the hearts of the people of Bengal,” he said. “I don’t know if Didi has got notices from the Election Commission. But had I said all Hindus must unite and vote for BJP, the EC would have sent eight to 10 notices to me.”
According to him, Mamata’s “khela (game)” at a Nandigram booth last week was enough to indicate that she had lost. “Your anger at everything — from someone wearing a tilak to the Election Commission to electronic voting machines — shows that you have lost,” he said. “Didi asks me how I know about the outcome? Am I god or superhuman? I say Trinamool’s defeat is written on the faces of janta janardan (the masses). And Didi’s anger, her desperation, the language she is using, say it all.”
Modi also pointed to how the Bengal CM’s tone and tenor in the time of elections had changed. “There was a time when you used to ask for deployment of central forces. The EC, central security forces and EVMs helped you win polls in the last 10 years. Now you are blaming the EC, casting aspersions on security forces. You have problems with the EVM too,” he said.
“People say you love to play football. But this time you have scored a self-goal,” he added.
Modi then referred to the leaked “audio tapes” on illegal coal-mining in Bengal that was cite md by BJP a couple of days ago as “proof” of corruption. “Koyla dhule maila jay na (Washing away coal grime will not wash away the filth),” he said, connecting the alleged scam to the “Bhaipo Service Tax” (a reference to the CM’s nephew, Diamond Harbour Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee).
He asked the Howrah crowd to respond to Mamata’s charges that BJP was giving money to people to attend its rallies. “Have you been paid to attend this rally? Isn’t this an insult?” he asked, exhorting people to “punish” those who had insulted them.
The PM then spoke about his efforts to pick up Bengali and the taunts he had been facing for his pronunciation. “I started wishing MPs on their birthdays in their mother tongue after I assumed office. I wish an MP from Tamil Nandi in Tamil and those from Bengal in Bengali. I once wished Banerjee in Bengali on her birthday. She wrote back to me in Gujarati. I liked it. I try to pick up bits and pieces of the local language and use them in my speech when I go to different parts of India. I know my Bengali pronunciation is not good but am trying,” he said.
Modi assured the people that BJP would continue with the existing state welfare schemes in Bengal if and when it assumed office. “Some people told me Didi was saying all benefits would stop if she lost the election. This is a blatant lie and a ploy to confuse people,” he said. “Kichhui bandha hobe na (Nothing will stop).”