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PM calls BJP candidate Sandeshkhali victim calls her ‘Shakti Swaropa’

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Rekha Patra is BJP candidate for Basirhat from Bengal

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called up a sexual harassment victim from Bengal’s Sandeshkhali, also the BJP candidate for the Basirhat Lok Sabha seat, and asked her about her preparations for the polls.

During his telephonic conversation with Rekha Patra, the Prime Minister asked her about the mood of the people and called her Shakti Swaropa (incarnation of Shakti). Ms. Patra spoke to the Prime Minister about the sufferings of the island’s residents, who have complained of being harassed by Trinamool Congress leaders.

Starting the conversation in Bengali, the Prime Minister told Ms Patra that she had taken on a huge responsibility. Ms. Patra told him that he “is like a God” to the women of Sandeshkhali. “We feel Ram Ji is with us,” she said. The Prime Minister replied that he was grateful that the women of Sandeshkhali had blessed him.

He then asked her how the people of Sandeshkhali had reacted to her choice as the BJP candidate.

In her response, Ms. Patra referred to Trinamool strongman Sheikh Shahjahan, who is currently in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a mob attack on officials of the agency . “Since 2011, we could no longer vote here. We want adequate security so we can vote. We are grateful for your support.”

Ms Patra also said some women on the island protested after she was chosen as a candidate. “They sent us a message saying that they had done everything as per Trinamool’s instructions and promised that they would not repeat this. There is no enmity. We will work for anyone,” he said. she declared.

The Prime Minister praised her for wishing the best to those who protested against her. “The BJP has done a great job in making you a candidate,” he said.

Ms Patra said she was confident of public support. “I come from a deprived family. My husband works in Chennai. We struggle to make ends meet. I want to do something to ensure that people find work here and are not forced to leave the state” , she said.

The Prime Minister said he was confident of his victory. “You are Shakti Swaropa, you have sent such powerful people to jail. We will fight together for the honor of women, not just in Basirhat, but across Bengal. You have my full support,” he said .

“Bengal is the land of Durga Puja and you are an embodiment of this Shakti. It is not easy to raise the voice of Sandeshkhali women. We believe that the nari shakti of Bengal will bless us this time. People are disturbed because of the Trinamool Congress government,” he said.

“The Prime Minister has promised to support us. There is immense joy in Sandeshkhali after I was chosen as a candidate,” Ms Patra told the media after her conversation with the Prime Minister.

Allegations of land grabbing, extortion and sexual harassment by Sandeshkhali residents against Trinamool leaders have become a key talking point for the upcoming elections. Eager to keep things boiling, the BJP fielded Ms. Patra as a candidate for the Basirhat seat, where Sandeshkhali falls.

The title “Shakti Swaropa” given by the Prime Minister to Ms. Patra is also a play on the Shakti debate between the BJP and the INDIA alliance.

Responding to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remark that the opposition opposes the ‘shakti’ – meaning power – of the state, Prime Minister Modi said the Indian alliance wanted to destroy Shakti, who is worshiped in many parts of India.

The prime minister’s counterattack alluded to Shaktism, a goddess-centered Hindu tradition widely followed in several parts of the country, including Bengal.

The Prime Minister said that every woman in the country is a reflection of ‘Shakti’ and his government always gives preference to ‘Nari Shakti’ or ‘women power’. In response, Mr Gandhi accused the Prime Minister of distorting his remarks.

The Prime Minister’s Nari Shakti plan also aims to reach out to Mamata Banerjee’s key support base of women voters, which she has cultivated over the years through her women-centric welfare schemes.

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