Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched an all-out attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, claiming the ruling Trinamool Congress behind vandalising the bust of social reformer Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.
"TMC goons vandalised the statue of Vidyasagar that night. This show how low Didi can stoop to for its vote-bank politics," PM Modi said while addressily in Mathurapur.
"TMC goons spread violence, they vandalised statue of Vidyasagar. CCTV cameras were installed there. The way the state govt erased evidences of Narada and Sarada scam, it is trying to remove evidence in the incident. I demand a strict action should be taken," he added.
Targeting Mamata over her statement earlier in the day where she challenged Modi to prove the allegations or else he will be "dragged to jail", Modi said: "Didi, frustrated with imminent defeat, is threatening to put me behind bars. today in the morning I received the threat of being sent to jail. Yesterday I saw in media that didi had threatened to take over BJP's office, she is also threatening to take over homes of BJP workers."
Taking a dig at Banerjee's nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, Modi also said that the "aunt-nephew jodi is only interested in looting Bengal".
PM Modi's rally comes hours ahead of the Election Commission's ban on poll campaigning in West Bengal ahead of seventh phase of polling comes into effect at 10 pm tonight. Mamata has alleged that the EC order was timed so as to allow PM Modi to hold his two rallies in the state today.
Earlier today, Mamata rejected PM Modi's offer to install a new bust of social reformer Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at the same spot where it was vandalised saying that Bengal has the money for it.
The prime minister said at a poll rally at Mau in Uttar Pradesh that his government is committed towards Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's vision and promised to install his grand statue made of "panch dhatu" (five metals) at the same spot where it was vandalised by "TMC goondas".
Banerjee said in the last six phases of the general elections Modi's votes have touched the bottom. "Modi has already lost the elections".
She urged the Trinamool Congress workers to be careful so that miscreants were not able to tamper with the EVMs which are kept now in the strongrooms.
In the first such action in India's electoral history, the EC on Wednesday invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to curtail the campaigning for the last phase of the election on May 19 in the wake of violence between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers in Kolkata on Tuesday.
It ordered that campaigning in nine seats will end at 10 pm on Thursday, a day before its scheduled deadline.
Mamata attacked the Election Commission's decision and termed it as an "unprecedented, unconstitutional and unethical gift" to PM Modi.
Kolkata witnessed wide-spread violence during BJP president Amit Shah's massive road show Tuesday. A bust of 19th century Bengali icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was vandalised during the violence.