Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday played the perfect guest in the city, heaping praise on his host State, its people and his counterpart here Mamata Banerjee.
He, however, said the progress in his State had come after 12 years and not two years, in an obvious reference to the period — close to two years — since the Trinamool Congress assumed office.
“Bengal was in the dumps for 32 years,” he said in a mention of the 34-year Left rule. “The efforts to fill those gaps … the dream of the people of West Bengal will be fulfilled,” he said at a function organised by three city Chambers of Commerce.
The State Congress leadership saw a political design behind the praise showered by Mr. Modi on Ms. Banerjee.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) State Secretary Biman Bose described the ties between the two leaders as a “nuptial knot.”
“If Narendra Modi falls ill, flowers are sent to him [by Ms. Banerjee]; if he wins an election, flowers are sent again …It is only natural that when he comes to West Bengal he will pat her on the back,” he said.
“No sign of development”
Ridiculing Mr. Modi’s contention that there was development now in the State with Ms. Banerjee as Chief Minister, Pradesh Congress Committee president Pradip Bhattacharya said there was no sign of it.
“It was made very clear today that even if there has been no development in the State, Narendra Modi has to come here to give [Ms Banerjee] a certificate for development,” he said.
Wondering whether this meant that she was set to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, Mr. Bhattacharya said: “The Chief Minister is away in Delhi but we will be very happy if she replies to this [Mr. Modi’s compliments]. If she does not, it will indicate [the claim] that she is forging a new political relationship with Mr. Modi and hence cannot give any statement on the matter,” he said.