‘Manage Uttar Pradesh first’: Mamata’s dig at Yogi’s Bengal rally

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken a swipe at her Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath, who is holding a public rally in Purulia on Tuesday, advising the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader to “manage Uttar Pradesh first” where “many people including a police officer have been killed”.

Responding to a question about Yogi’s rally, Banerjee said, “Let him hold the rally…Ask him to manage Uttar Pradesh first. So many people have been killed in UP. Police (officer) was also killed. So many farmers have committed suicide in UP. So many people have been lynched in UP. Let him first manage Uttar Pradesh.”

“If he contests (election) today, he will lose. He does not have a place in UP to contest, so he is roaming around in Bengal. Let him roam,” Banerjee said in Kolkata on the third day of her sit-in against the Narendra Modi government after a team of Central Bureau of Investigation reached Kolkata to question city police commission Rajeev Kumar in connection with a chit fund scam case.

Yogi Adityanath is holding a rally in West Bengal’s Purulia as the BJP attempts to make inroads in the state in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Yogi Adityanath will enter West Bengal through BJP-ruled Jharkhand by road. The BJP has claimed that the Mamata Banerjee government has denied permission for landing of Yogi Adityanath’s chopper in Purulia.

Banerjee has, however, denied the BJP’s claim, saying, “It is not true.” A BJP leader earlier said, “He could easily have taken a chopper till Purulia, which is adjacent to Bokaro but because of the Trinamool government’s decision to deny landing permission to him on Sunday, it has been decided that he would travel to West Bengal by road.”

Another BJP leader, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, also claimed that the Mamata Banerjee government denied permission for the landing of his chopper in Behrampore, where he is scheduled to address a public rally.

He said, “The constitution permits all political parties to present their stand before the public. Who is Mamata Ji scared of? I have a rally in Berhampore tomorrow (Wednesday) but I have been informed that the permission for my chopper’s landing and rally’s venue has not been given.”

The BJP and the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) have in the past sparred over public rallies of the BJP leaders including party president Amit Shah. The BJP alleged that the Mamata Banerjee government tried to create obstacles in holding public rallies by the party leaders. The TMC has rejected the allegations as baseless claims.

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