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A social media post by Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress sparked a war of words today between the party and the Chairperson of the National Women’s Commission Rekha Sharma. The initial Trinamool post on X, formerly Twitter, was on Rekha Patra, the women from Sandeshkhali, whom the BJP has fielded as its candidate for Basirhat, the constituency that includes her village in the Sundarbans island.  

The Trinamool, attacking Ms Patra with an image of her state government health card, had accuseds her of playing the “ultimate game of hypocrisy, enjoying the benefits of Smt.@MamataOfficial’s schemes while aligning herself with Delhi’s JOMIDARS”.

“Caught red-handed! @BJP4India’s MP candidate from Basirhat, Rekha Patra, plays the ultimate game of hypocrisy, enjoying the benefits of Smt.@MamataOfficial’s schemes while aligning herself with Delhi’s JOMIDARS.PM @narendramodi, the next time you call her, don’t forget to inquire about her Swasthya Sathi card. It might help you understand how our leader’s brainchild, Swasthya Sathi, surpasses the failed Ayushman Bharat scheme,’ its post read.

Rekha Sharma immediately joined issue. “Is @MamataOfficial is paying from her own pocket? That’s taxpayers money and is for every citizen of west Bengal. Is it only for @AITCofficial workers? And what do you mean by Delhi’s Jomidars? Is west Bengal not part of India? You people behave as if Momta Benarji own the state,” her post read.

“Why do we call them Delhi’s Jomidars? Because despite collecting Rs 4.6 lakh crore as taxes from Bengal, BJP-led Centre has withheld Rs 1.6 lakh crore for crucial schemes. Also, being the chairperson of @NCWIndia you’re distorting the name of the only female CM of India? SHAME!” Trinamool shot back, highlighting its frequent complaint that the state is not receiving its share of revenue.

Many on the social media platform, meanwhile, pointed out that the party has inadvertently made public the candidate’s personal data, including her phone number and bank account details.

The candidature of Rekha Patra, who was among those who spearheaded the protests at Sandeshkhali   against Trinamool strongman Sheikh Shahjahan, has become a huge talking point in the state.

With the contest between Trinamool’s Mahua Moitra and Amrita Roy, the “Rajmata” of the erstwhile royal family of Krishnanagar being the other big draw, the coming assembly elections are being seen as a battle for the votes of women, who have so far backed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

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