June 10, 2023

West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday stoked a controversy by allegedly saying the prime minister is “Pagla Modi” (mad Modi). Chowdhury, however, later clarified saying he was echoing the “sentiments” of the public and was just conveying how people are reacting to the Centre’s decision to withdraw 2,000 currency notes.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said he was echoing people’s sentiments after the Centre’s decision to withdraw 2,000 currency notes.(PTI)

Reacting to the recent meeting that took place between Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) boss Arvind Kejriwal, and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Chowdhury said: “There is growing frustration among the people of India towards Modi. People are referring to Modi as ‘pagal’ Modi. With public sentiment turning against Modi, parties like the AAP and the TMC are attempting to regain relevance.”

Hitting back, Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief Sukanta Majumdar called Ranjan a “repeated offender,” and demanded an apology for the comments.

“Congress leader Adhir Ranjan abuses PM Modi again and calls him ‘Pagla’. He has used abusive language again and again. He is a repeated offender. I strongly condemn this. He should apologise immediately,” he said.

Read | Tamil Nadu CM Stalin attacks Centre after RBI withdraws 2000 notes

The Opposition parties have vehemently criticised the government over the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) move to scrap the highest-value currency notes from circulation. They have compared it with the Modi government’s demonetisation decision in 2016, saying that the latest move will “hit the common people hard once again”.

The BJP, however, termed the Opposition’s attacks as desperate and to stoke fear among the public, saying the same strategy had been employed to spread rumours about the Covid-19 vaccine during the pandemic.

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