Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday took a sharp jibe at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying the PM's post was not up for auction -- and that it could not be bought with the money looted from "Narada, Saradha" scams.
Observing that Banerjee is "dreaming" of becoming the prime minister, Modi also ridiculed the TMC chief's 'Bengal model of development', which she plans to implement across the country if voted to power, as the "Tolabaji (extortion) model".
Mamata, one of the most strident critics of the BJP, has been saying that Bengal and Trinamool Congress(TMC) will play an important role in the formation of the next government at the Centre. She had also organised a rally of opposition parties in Kolkata in January.
PM Modi said he felt "pity" for Mamata Banerjee as the PM's post can never be bought by money looted in Saradha and Narada scams.
"To become the PM of a vast country like India a person has to earn the respect and blessings of its 130 crore people," he said at a poll rally in this industrial hub where union minister Babul Supriyo will take on actor-turned politcian Moon Moon Sen of TMC in a four-cornered fight.
"By fighting in just a handful of seats, Didi (Banerjee) is dreaming of becoming a prime minister. If the post of the prime minister could be bought in auctions, then Congress and Didi would have bought it with the money they've looted from the country.
"Didi, the prime minister's post is not available for auction that you can buy it with the money earned in Saradha, Narada (scams)," PM Modi said.
The TMC is contesting all the 42 seats in the state.
PM Modi added the TMC was competing with Congress to break its record of corruption.
"Under speed breaker Didi only corruption and crime are two non-stop things in Bengal.
"Before 2014, the Congress government had made a record of corruption. Today, the TMC government is giving tough competition to the Congress. Corruption and crime are non-stop under TMC rule."
PM Modi also raked up the issue of infiltration, which is high on BJP's poll agenda, saying Mamata Banerjee had turned infiltrators into her cadres and is now using Bangladesh actors to campaign for her.
"I feel pity for Mamata Banerjee. TMC is in such a condition that people are not turning up for its rallies and it is forced to call actors from abroad," he said, while referring to Bangladeshi actor Ferdous Ahmed campaigning for the ruling party.
Ahmed was later ordered to leave the country by the Centre.
PM Modi said "Mamata Didi wants to implement her Tolabaji tax model of development across the country. But we will never allow that to happen".
"Mamata didi intends to apply the model of West Bengal to the entire country. This model refers to syndicate tax, illegal coal and sand mining. She wants to replicate this model across the country," he said.
In West Bengal, 'syndicate' means the business run by persons allegedly enjoying political patronage, who force promoters and contractors to buy construction materials, often of inferior quality at high prices.
Referring to the Balakot airstrike in Pakistan, PM Modi said the country needed a government with "vision and not division".
"The new India wants safety and dignity. It is with the power of your votes that army jawans can carry out airstrikes, that in space enemy satellites can be hit. So don't you need a strong government? Only a strong chowkidar can provide a strong government," he said.
He also hit out at Mamata Banerjee for seeking proof of the airstrike.