Mamata sees BJP ploy in softening of Modi’s stance

  • Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 20, 2014 01:10 IST

BJP’s prime ministerial pick Narendra Modi’s calibrated soft stance towards Trinamool Congress has not amused its chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

She believes it to be a Modi ploy for sending a false message to the electorate that there is a tacit understanding between the parties. Banerjee enjoys the support of a vast section of Muslims, who constitute more than 25% of the state’s population, and is desperately trying to keep the BJP at bay.

Top TMC sources said there was no question of any tacit understanding. “Banerjee has assured the Muslim leadership that she will stay away from the BJP, and she has to face an assembly election after two years,” said a Mamata aide.

The majority of West Bengal’s 42 seats have not yet gone to the hustings.

In his first poll campaign in Kolkata after being named the BJP’s PM candidate, Modi had said: “Mamata is ruling in West Bengal. My government will come in Delhi. And above us, there is Pranab dada (Mukherjee) as President. So, no one can stop fast progress of Bengal. “

In his latest statement, Modi said he hoped to get her “cooperation in creating a conducive atmosphere for industrialisation in the state”. The tone has further enraged the Trinamool boss as it referred to industrialisation and Singur project — two touchy issues for the west Bengal government.

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