Launching Campaign in WB, Modi Calls Mamata Banerjee 'Speed Breaker Didi'

Banerjee said she would respond to the comments at her rally in Cooch Behar later in the day.

New Delhi: Launching the BJP’s campaign in West Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called the state’s chief minister Mamata Bengal a “speed breaker” in the path of development.

Addressing a rally in Siliguri, Modi said, “There is a speed breaker in West Bengal, who you know by the name of Didi. This Didi is the speed breaker of your development. I am waiting for this speed breaker to go so development can gather speed.”

He criticised the state government for the Saradha chit fund case and also its development policies.

According to reports, the PM also attacked Banerjee for pulling out of Ayushman Bharat, the Centre’s insurance scheme. “We told the poor that in case of sickness, they will be treated free of cost up to Rs 5 lakh at hospitals and that they won’t have to spend a single penny. But what has the speed breaker Didi done? She has put a break on this scheme that can benefit the poor,” he said.

The prime minister is scheduled to address another rally in Kolkata later.

In response, Banerjee has advanced her campaign schedule. She promised to giving a response to the prime minister’s comments at a rally scheduled later in Cooch Behar. The rally was originally scheduled for Thursday, but the chief minister brought it forward by a day.

According to NDTV, as Modi left to Kolkata, Banerjee arrived at the Kolkata airport to fly to north Bengal.

The state has 42 Lok Sabha constituencies, of which the BJP won just two in 2014. It has set the ambitious target of sealing more than 20 seats this time. Banerjee, on the other hand, is looking to secure as many of the seats to prop up her united opposition alliance.