The senior BJP leader said that he could not attend the rally as his chopper developed a technical glitch. “I was going there for campaigning. Unfortunately, my helicopter was damaged and I couldn’t come to see you,” Shah said while virtually addressing the rally.
“My helicopter developed a snag, but I will not call it a conspiracy,” he said in a dig at Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress Mamata Banerjee’s injury at Nandigram. The Trinamool Congress supremo was injured while campaigning in Nandigram on March 10, an incident the ruling party claimed was a “BJP conspiracy to take her life”.
The TMC was quick to hit back at Shah as it posted images showing a thin crowd and empty chairs at the Jhargram rally ground, which it claimed prompted the last-minute change of plans for Shah. TMC MP and Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek, while addressing a rally at Chandrakona, a few kilometres away from Jhargram, mocked Shah for cancelling his rally “due to thin crowd”.
“Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s scheduled rally at Jhargram was cancelled due to some technical glitch, it seems. Anyways, the photos of the rally that I have received show very few people. More people watch excavation work done by an earthmover or sip tea at a village shop than those present at the senior BJP leader’s public meeting,” he said.
On the other hand, the massive participation of people in the TMC’s rallies indicate that the party will return to power in the state on May 2 by bagging over 250 seats, Banerjee said.
“Had he requested, we would have sent some people to the venue,” the chief minister, who is still recuperating from the injuries she sustained last week in Nandigram, said while addressing a public meeting in Purulia district. After a few hours, Shah posted a video on his Twitter page, showing a jam-packed ground.
“I apologise to the people of Jhargram for not being able to address the rally in person due to a technical snag in my chopper. “But I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for turning out in such large numbers. Let Jhargram be the harbinger of change and usher ‘asol paribartan’ (real change),” he tweeted.