West Bengal Election Trivia: High-Stakes Prestige Battle as Second Phase of Election Ends

Story Highlights
  • Mamata Banerjee announces her gotra
  • Second Phase of elections end
  • BJP leaders retort her declaration as means of influence

Kolkata: As the second phase of the Bengal elections came to its end on Tuesday, CM Banerjee played her trump card- telling voters she belonged to the ‘Shandilya gotra’ one of the eight highest Brahmin ‘gotras’.

At a rally in Nandigram – which saw a high-stakes prestige battle between Ms Banerjee and her aide-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari – the Chief Minister led off by reminiscing about visits to temples, where priests asked her for her ‘gotra’ or lineage. 

During her campaigning the CM visited a temple which reminded her of the Tripureswari Temple where she was asked about her gotra. She said,” During my second campaign, I visited a temple where the priest enquired about my ‘gotra’. I told him ‘Maa Mati Manush’ (the slogan that powered her to victory in 2011).”  Later she reminisced about her visit to the Temple and said,’ Actually I am ‘Shandilya’. 

Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh retorted that the Chief Minister was announcing her gotra in desperation. “I never need to say it is my gotra, I write it. But she says it out of fear of losing the election. Mamata Banerjee, please tell me whether Rohingya and infiltrators are also of the Shandilya gotra? Her defeat is certain,” said Mr Singh, who uses the prefix “Shandilya” for his Twitter name.

Mamata Banerjee and her Lieutenant turned competitor Mr. Adhikari are in full swing to conquer West Bengal. Both sides have declared they are confident of winning the seat; Mr Adhikari has promised to quit politics should he lose, and the Trinamool insists ‘Bengal’s daughter’ (Ms Banerjee) will win.

Mamata Banerjee signed off her personal election campaign in style this evening, standing up on the dais as the national anthem played, despite a leg injury suffered earlier this month.

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