TMC, BJP war of words escalates; Mufti versus Azad in Anantnag | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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TMC, BJP war of words escalates; Mufti versus Azad in Anantnag

Apr 08, 2024 09:22 AM IST

TMC accused the BJP of trying to “manage the referee” through the use of central agencies to “keep out the players” during the Lok Sabha polls

The war of words over alleged attacks on officials of central probe agencies in West Bengal intensified on Sunday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Trinamool Congress (TMC) of “shielding extortionists and corrupt leaders”. Modi, who hopes to return to power for a third consecutive time and equal first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s record of winning three back-to-back Lok Sabha elections, added that the TMC wants a licence for corruption and violence.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee at a rally in Purulia. (ANI)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee at a rally in Purulia. (ANI)

TMC hit back claiming the BJP was trying to “manage the referee” through the use of central agencies to “keep out the players” during the Lok Sabha polls. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee alleged the federal agencies were working as “extended arms” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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A team of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was earlier allegedly attacked in East Midnapore during raids in connection with its probe into the 2022 Bhupatinagar blast case. NIA said one of its officers was injured and a vehicle was damaged. Banerjee maintained the villagers acted in “self-defense” as the probe agency officials barged into houses in the early hours of Saturday.

Mufti versus Azad in Anantnag

Two former chief ministers are now in the fray for the Anantnag Lok Sabha seat. People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday announced her candidature for the seat, where Ghulam Nabi Azad is also among the candidates. Azad quit the Congress in 2022 and formed his Democratic Progressive Azad Party.

Tharoor vs Chandrasekhar battle heats up

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who is seeking a fourth successive term as Thiruvananthapuram member of Parliament (MP), on Sunday accepted Union minister and his BJP challenger Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s call for an open debate. “Yes, I welcome a debate. But the people of Thiruvananthapuram are aware of who has been evading a debate till now. Let us debate politics and development. Let us debate price hike, unemployment, corruption, communalism, and the BJP’s 10 years of propagating politics of hatred,” the Thiruvananthapuram MP posted on X

Bihar’s pride as RJD poll plank

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on Sunday expressed shock over a clip purportedly showing Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar touching Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s feet during a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rally, saying he “felt very bad”. RJD insiders said they would use the clip to raise the issue of “Bihar’s pride” as a poll plank. “…What has happened? Nitish Kumar is our guardian...There is no other chief minister as experienced as Nitish Kumar and he is touching the feet of Prime Minister Modi,” Tejashwi said.

Kumar was also trolled on social media over a gaffe. Kumar could be heard fumbling that NDA will win “char lakh (400000) seats, before correcting himself and saying ”char hazaar se bhi zyada (more than 4,000 seats)”. RJD leaders, including Sarika Paswan, shared a video of the gaffe. “The chief minister wanted to wish more than four lakh MPs to the PM. Then he probably thought it would be too much and 4,000 would be sufficient,” Paswan wrote in a post on X in Hindi.

Jairam Ramesh under attack from ex-colleague

Days after defecting to the BJP from Congress, Gourav Vallabh attacked Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh without naming him, saying people who have not even contested an election even for a class monitor are handling the party now. In an interview with news agency ANI Vallabh said he was talking about the same person after the interviewer took Ramesh’s name. “When I joined the Congress, they had 42 MPs thinking that they would encourage new thoughts. For example, the Congress manifesto for the last 30 years has been made by the same person. Had that person’s ideas been strong, the party would not have come to this situation,” Vallabh said.

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