Bengal has money to make Vidyasagar's statue: Mamata Banerjee hits back at Modi

File photo: Mamata Banerjee. Photograph:( ANI )

ANI Mathurapur, West Bengal, India May 16, 2019, 03.06 PM (IST)

Hours after Narendra Modi promised a grand statue of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar at the same spot where the old one stood before being vandalised, Mamata Banerjee shot back and asserted that West Bengal has the money required for the polymath's structure and asked if the Prime Minister can return the 200-year-old heritage.

Terming him a "liar", the Chief Minister urged Modi to prove allegations against TMC of vandalising Vidyasagar's statue and threatened to drag him to the jail otherwise.

"He (PM) said he will make Vidyasagar statue. Bengal has money to make the statue. Can he give back the 200 years old heritage? We have proof and you say that TMC has done. Are not you ashamed? He should do sit-ups for lying so much. Liar. Prove allegations otherwise we will drag you to jail," Mamata lashed out.

Vidyasagar, a renowned figure in West Bengal's history, devoted his life to women-centric reforms. He is also credited with bringing more order to the Bengali education system.

The TMC chief also came down heavily on the Election Commission over its unprecedented move of cutting the campaigning in the nine parliamentary constituencies of the state by a day.

Asserting that she is ready to go to prison for her remarks, Banerjee claimed that the poll body is BJP's "brother" and has been sold out to the party.

"Last night we came to know that BJP had filed a complaint with EC so that we cannot hold any meeting after Narendra Modi's meeting. The EC is the brother of BJP, earlier it was an impartial body now everyone in the country says EC has sold out to BJP. I feel sad but I do not have anything to say, I am ready to go to jail for saying this. I am not scared to say the truth," she said.

Modi is also scheduled to address two rallies in West Bengal's Mathurapur and Dum Dum Lok Sabha seats later in the day.

In an unprecedented move for India's electoral history, the poll commission on Wednesday invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to cut short the last phase campaigning in the state by a day after violence and clashes between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers at BJP president Amit Shah's roadshow Kolkata on Tuesday.

During the mayhem, the bust Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was also vandalised, both the TMC and BJP are trading blame over the matter.

Elections to 33 seats have taken place in West Bengal in the first six phases of elections.

The remaining nine seats will go to polls on May 19 in the last round with the counting set to take place on May 23.

Story highlights

Terming him a 'liar', the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged Modi to prove allegations against TMC of vandalising Vidyasagar's statue and threatened to drag him to the jail otherwise.