Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday spoke to Rekha Patra, a woman from West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali who is now the BJP’s Basirhat Lok Sabha candidate.

Rekha Patra has been the face of the women’s protest in the area against suspended Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan. The local strongman, who is now in jail, and his henchmen were accused of illegal land grab and sexual assault by locals in Sandeshkhali.

PM Modi spoke to Rekha Patra about her campaign preparations for the upcoming polls and lauded her as “Shakti Swaroopa” (goddess-like).

In an audio clip, PM Modi asks Patra, “You are going to play a big responsibility. How do you feel?”

“I feel very good. Your hands are on my head and all women of Sandeshkhali. It is like we are blessed by Lord Ram,” Patra replies.

The BJP candidate then narrated the ordeal of Sandeshkhali women to the PM. “A big tragedy happened with us. Not just the women of Sandeshkhali, but women of entire Basirhat suffered. We demand action against the accused. We haven’t been able to vote since 2011 and we hope to vote this time,” he adds.

Lauding her courage, PM Modi said, “Rekha ji, you’ve fought a big battle in Sandeshkhali. In a way, you are Shakti Swaroopa. You sent so many powerful people to jail. You will definitely win the elections. Do you have any idea how courageous you have been?”

The Prime Minister also assured her cooperation by the Election Commission of India and proper security arrangements, so they can vote in the upcoming elections.

After her call with PM Modi, Rekha Patra said she would be happy if the Prime Minister comes to Sandeshkhali and campaigns for her.

“I won’t give him or the (BJP) leadership any chance of complaint,” Patra said.

“I spoke to the PM. He told me that he is with me and other women of Sandeshkali. I feel privileged,” she added.

Patra further said that if she wins the election, she would work for all people of Basirhat.

She also criticised those questioning the complaints raised by the women of Sandeshkhali, saying, “Those who say that Sandeshkali incidents were not real, I tell them it’s high time you realise your mistake.”

Published By:

Poorva Joshi

Published On:

Mar 26, 2024



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