Vidyasagar statue: PM Modi, Mamata in furious war of words
Mau (UP): Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday said his government was committed towards Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's vision and promised to install his grand statue at the same spot in Kolkata where it was vandalised by "TMC goondas".
Speaking at a rally in Uttar Pradesh's Mau on Thursday morning, Modi said, "We have been witnessing the attitude of didi for long and now the country is also seeing it. Dedicated to the vision of Ishwar Chand Vidyasagar, our government will install a panchdhatu (made up of five metals) statue at the very spot and give a reply to TMC goondas."
"The statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was broken by TMC goondas during the road show of BJP President Amit Shah. Those involved in this act should be given strong punishment," the prime minister said.
Modi charged that "anarchy" was spread by TMC workers during his earlier meetings in West Midnapore and Thakurnagar.
"In Cooch Behar in Bengal where a dais was to be set up for my rally, didi got a grand dais made for her party. I have been seeing this attitude of didi since long but now the country is seeing it," he said.
Responding to Modi's offer, Banerjee said Bengal does not need money from the BJP, it has enough resources to rebuild the Vidyasagar statue.
She said that it was BJP "hooligans" who had destroyed a heritage of the state by breaking the bust in the violence during BJP Amit Shah's roadshow.
It is a matter of shame for Bengalis that the bust of Vidyasagar was vandalised, she said at a poll rally at Mandirbazar in support of Trinamool Lok Sabha candidate C M Jatua.
"Bengal does not seek alms from BJP. We have the money for a new bust of Vidyasagar, who was part of Bengal Renaissance. Don't you (BJP) feel ashamed saying that Bengal has been reduced to a state of being a pauper," said West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee.
Banerjee was referring to a comment by Shah at a poll rally at Canning earlier this week in which he had said that under Banerjee government "sonar(golden) Bangla has become kangal(pauper) Bangla".
"He (Modi) should squat holding his ears for destroying a heritage of the state," she said.
"The media has shown how Vidyasagar's bust was broken. Bengalis' pride is hurt that they will not spare BJP. They will not give it (BJP) a single vote .... It will be very surprising if Modi gets a single vote from Bengalis," Banerjee claimed.
She alleged that the BJP is spreading fake messages on the social media and warned the voters not to fall prey to it.