Trinamool objects to tone in which Modi refers to Mamata Banerjee as Didi in his election speeches

Published : April 04, 2021 22:39 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election rally in support of BJP candidates ahead of the third phase of the Assembly election, in Hooghly district, on April 3. Photo: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI

The Trinamool Congress has taken exception to the tone of Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he refers to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as ‘Didi’ in his election speeches. One of Modi’s favourite ploys to bring loud cheers from his supporters is referring to Mamata in a low-voiced, drawn-out manner – “Didi, oh Didi” – before launching his political attack. Raising objection to this style of speech, women leaders of the Trinamool said that the Prime Minister was insulting not just Mamata but also the women of Bengal.

Addressing a press conference on April 4, Women and Child Development Minister Shashi Panja, Trinamool leader Ananya Chakraborty and actor-turned-politician June Malia condemned the “disrespect” shown by Modi to Mamata and said it was a matter of concern that the person occupying the highest elected office in the country was resorting to such behaviour. According to Shashi Panja, Modi’s manner of uttering the word ‘Didi’ is one of mockery and jibe. “She is Didi to everyone and he is demeaning and insulting her. We are truly concerned about this,” said Shashi Panja

Ananya Chakraborty even attacked the Prime Minister’s personal life, saying, “We have such a person as a Prime Minister who has no respect for women. We have seen how he disrespects his wife and his married life. He does not even mention in the election form that he was married. The way he is talking about the Chief Minister of a State, the tone he uses, is extremely unfortunate and something to be concerned about.”

Earlier Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra compared Modi’s style of saying ‘Didi’ to that of a catcall from a street side loafer. “Would he say that about his mother? Would he say that about his sister? Would he say that about his estranged wife?.... Is this Prime Minister going to teach us about decorum? This is a Prime Minister who is sitting here taunting a Chief Minister in the cheapest, basest way possible,” said Moitra.

Dismissing the allegation, BJP MP Locket Chatterjee said, “The word Didi is uttered endearingly. If the Chief Minister has any problem with this, then let her specify how she would like to be addressed – Pishi (aunt) or Begum?” Locket’s comment was also a swipe at Mamata’s nephew and heir apparent to the Trinamool leadership, Abhishek Banerjee.

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