Kolkata, April 25: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had a stinging reply to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s revelation that the firebrand leader sends him kurtas and gifts every year. "We welcome guests with rosogollas and gifts but not a single vote will be given (to BJP)," she said without naming PM Modi.
Ms Banerjee said it is Bengal’s culture to greet guests on "special occasions." However, she ruled out possibilities of voting for the ruling party.
Ms Banerjee made the comments at a rally in Serampore in Hooghly district after PM Modi’s interview to actor Akshay Kumar aired by TV channels in which the prime minister mentioned her gifts to him.
"People will be surprised and I should not say this in the election season, but Mamata didi sends me gifts every year. She still sends me one or two kurtas that she picks herself a year," PM Modi said in the interaction.
PM Modi told Akshay Kumar that Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sent him new types of sweets every year. "Once Mamata didi found out, she also started sending me sweets once or twice a year," he chuckled.
The interview was followed by PM Modi launching harsh attacks at Ms Banerjee in Bengal where he followed "speed breaker didi" with "sticker didi". These phrases have been used by the prime minister to slam the Trinamool chief in his recent speeches.
The Congress took notice of the interaction and said this hints at a secret tie-up between the BJP and Trinamool. Bengal Congress President Somen Mitra said this proved the "friendly relationship" between PM Modi and Ms Banerjee.
Bengal votes in seven phases in the national elections that end on May 19.