Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that his bitter political rival and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sends him gifts three-four times a year. "People will be surprised and I should not say this in the election season but Mamata didi sends me gifts every year. She still sends me one or two kurtas that she picks herself a year," Modi told actor Akshay Kumar in an interaction with Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar for news agency ANI and aired on Indian TV channels on Wednesday, a day after the third phase of the parliamentary election.
The interview was telecast a day after one of Modi’s sharpest attacks on Mamata at a rally in the industrial town of Asansol IN West Bengal on Tuesday. Four more phases of polling remain to be held with the seventh and last phase scheduled for May 19 and the vote-count slated for May 23. Voting in West Bengal will last till the seventh phase. Mamata and Modi are usually locked in a bitter war of words which has become much shriller during the campaign for the parliamentary elections.
Modi told Akshay Kumar that Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sent him new types of sweets every year. "Once Mamata didi found that out, she also started sending me sweets once or twice a year," he chuckled. In Asansol, Modi had said "our didi, contesting a handful of seats, is dreaming of becoming Prime Minister. If the PM's post could be auctioned, then the Congress and didi would come with whatever they have looted through corruption. Diddi this post is not on auction that it can be bought from the money from Sharada and Narada. One needs the blessings of 130 crore Indians to get to the post."
Asked by Akshay Kumar if he has friends in the opposition camp, Modi said "yes, very good friends, we share meals too."
He said when he was the Chief Minister of his home state Gujarat, he once had a friendly chat with Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, which had the media wondering. "Ghulam Nabi Azad and I have had several chai sessions and people are surprised how an RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) person like me is friends with Azad."