West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, 24 April, said it is in Bengal's culture to welcome guests with sweets and gifts, but that would not mean that a single vote will be given to the BJP, reported PTI.
The Trinamool Congress leader was making a veiled reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remark in an interview with Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar that Mamata sends him sweets and kurtas every year.
Banerjee made the comments at a rally in Serampore in Hooghly district against the backdrop of Modi's interview, reported PTI.
"“It is in Bengal’s culture to welcome guests with sweets and tea. We also greet them on special occasions. This is our tradition. We welcome guests with sweets and gifts, but not a single vote will be given (to BJP),”" - Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister
"People will be surprised and I should not say this in the election season, it could hurt me, but Mamata didi sends me gifts every year. She still sends me one or two kurtas that she picks herself a year," Modi had said in the interview.
He also said Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina used to send him special sweets every year from Dhaka. When Banerjee came to know about it, she also started sending him Bengali sweets on "one or two occasions every year", he added.
Modi had in his earlier poll meetings in the state called Banerjee, who is among his fiercest critics, "speed breaker Didi" for allegedly blocking implementation of central schemes in the state. He often refers to Banerjee as Didi, reported PTI.
"Speedbreaker Didi is also sticker Didi. She just puts a sticker on central schemes like free electricity or ration for the people to claim that these benefits are from the state government," he said at a rally at Ranaghat in the border district of Nadia on Tuesday, 24 April.
(With inputs from PTI.)
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