Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today declared that she has not returned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s calls to discuss Cyclone Fani, as she “does not want to share dais with expiry-PM”. Earlier today, PM Modi had accused Ms Banerjee of “playing politics” over cyclone relief, triggering a political storm over the superstorm that left a trail of devastation across Odisha and parts of Bengal over the weekend.
At a rally in Bengal’s Tamluk today, PM Modi said he had tried to dial the Chief Minister before the cyclone hit as he felt “worried” about the people of Bengal.
“I tried to talk to Mamata Didi before the cyclone hit, but such was her arrogance that she refused to talk to me,” said the Prime Minister, who held an aerial survey of the affected areas in Odisha and met its chief minister, Naveen Patnaik today.
He underscored the point in a Hindi tweet later. “I waited, expecting her to call me back. But she did not. Still, I called her again. I was worried about the people of Bengal, and wanted to speak to Mamata Didi. But Didi did not speak to me the second time either,” it read.
Speaking at a rally from Bengal’s Bishnupur, Mamata Banerjee said she could not take the call as she was in Kharagpur, a town near Kolkata to monitor the ground situation, while the Prime Minister was out campaigning.
But to clarify her stance, she added, “I don’t want to share dais with expiry-PM as elections are on” – “expiry PM” being the term she coined to underscore her claim that the Prime Minister’s term in office has expired and he won’t come back in power.