'He Has Blessed Us': Candidate From Bengal's Sandeshkhali Praises PM Modi


Rekha Patra, the woman from Bengal’s Sandeshkhali who is now the BJP candidate from Bashirhat, said she had been unable to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the state. The Prime Minister had dialled her today, and dubbed her “Shakti Swaroopa”, adding another layer to the charged debate over Rahul Gandhi’s allegation about the BJP’s misuse¬†¬† of power.

“Despite my best efforts, I had not been able to meet him,” Ms Patra told NDTV today. “But it is good that other women who went from Sandeshkhali were able to meet him. The BJP had called five or six of us (for the Prime Minister’s public meeting in the state),”she said.

“I was happy to hear that Modi-ji was doing something for us. I am happier now that I have spoken to him. He has blessed us, like Lord Ram, like God… Maybe i will live to see better days,” she told NDTV in an exclusive interview.

Ms Patra was among the women holding long agitation against the local Trinamool strongman Sheikh Shahjahan, accusing him of sexual harassment and land grab. The man, who is now in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate, has been suspended from the party for six years.

The allegations of Sandeshkhali’s women had come as a boon for the BJP, which is aiming at winning 25 of the state’s 40 Lok Sabha seats — up from 18 in 2019.

The party has backed the women’s protests, and to keep the matter in the limelight in a state headed by a woman, offered ticket for the constituency Sandeshkhali comes under to Ms Patra.

During their conversation today, PM Modi had said that he was confident that Ms Patra would win. “You are Shakti Swaroopa, you sent such powerful people to jail. We will together fight for the honour of women, not just in Basirhat, but across Bengal,”he said.

“We feel the nari shakti of Bengal will bless us this time. People are disturbed due to the Trinamool Congress government,” he said, in a swipe at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s party, which has consistently enjoyed the backing of the state’s women.

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