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‘Kept waiting for didi to call back,’ says PM Modi, accuses Mamata of playing politics over cyclone

Modi, who was addressing a poll rally in Bengal’s Tamluk said he tried to contact the Bengal CM twice, but she didn’t respond.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: May 06, 2019 15:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi(PTI)
         

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday accused West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee of playing politics over the cyclone Fani issue. PM Modi, who was addressing a poll rally in Bengal’s Tamluk, said he tried to contact the Bengal CM twice, but she didn’t respond.

“Speedbreaker didi has tried to play politics even on cyclone. Tried to talk to her twice but she didn’t talk to me, such is her arrogance. I kept waiting for her to call back,” PM Modi said. He had conducted a survey on cyclone-hit areas in Odisha earlier in the day and praised CM Naveen Patnaik for relief and rescue operations.

Mamata Banerjee later responded to the swipe. The chief minister said she could not take the call because she was away in Kharagpur. “I don’t want to share dais with expiry PM as elections are on,” she told an election rally, according to news agency PTI.

WATCH: ‘Frustrated didi jailing those who chant Jai Sri Ram’: PM Modi slams Mamata

On Sunday, a controversy had erupted with the Bengal administration alleging that the prime minister had bypassed the state chief minister Mamata Banerjee and had called governor Keshari Nath Tripathi asking him to prepare a report on the damage that had been inflicted by Cyclone Fani in the state.

“Attention has been drawn to reports in a section of the media, that the Trinamool Congress has expressed its displeasure at Prime Minister Modi speaking only to West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, about the post-Fani situation in the state.

“Apparently, Trinamool leaders have claimed that the Prime Minister had called up Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, but did not phone West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. The above claim is incorrect,” sources said.

Sources said that two attempts had been made on Saturday morning by the prime minister’s staff to connect him to the West Bengal CM on phone.

“The first time, the staff who were attempting to place the call, were told that the West Bengal CM is on tour, and that the call would be returned. On the second occasion too, the staff attempting to place the call were told by the CM’s office, that the call will be returned.”

Alleging that the Prime Minister bypassed the state government, Trinamool secretary general and minister Partha Chatterjee said on Saturday, “This is the biggest example of indecency. In a federal structural a state government has its own position and rights. The Modi government never respected that.”

First Published: May 06, 2019 13:14 IST

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