“Khela hobe…” thundered Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an election rally in West Bengal’s Purulia on Thursday, not once but 11 times to add heft to allegations that the state had suffered under the 10-year rule of Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress.

“Didi bole khela hobe, BJP bole chaakri hobe. Didi bole khela hobe, BJP bole vikas hobe. Didi bole khela hobe, BJP bole shiksha hobe….Khela shesh hobe, vikas aarambh hobe…” PM Modi said using Trinamool’s own slogan to target them. The state, in the throes of poll campaign,  will vote in eight phases between March 27 and April 29.

The slogan ‘Khela Hobe’, which means ‘The game is on,’ is the Trinamool Congress warcry for the Assembly elections 2021. The slogan has become very popular with several pop songs based on it. Hoardings with this slogan have popped up all over West Bengal.

Watch PM’s video:

Keeping up his attack on Mamata Banerjee, the PM said, “Bengal made up its mind long back. It’s been saying ‘Lok Sabha mein TMC half aur iss baar poori saaf’. Seeing this determination, didi is taking out her frustration on me. But for us, she’s a daughter like crores of daughters of India. Respect for them is part of our culture.”

Invoking Lord Rama and Goddess Sita, the Prime Minister said Purulia is a witness to their exile. “This land has Sitakund. It is also said that when goddess Sita was thirsty, Lord Ram got water from the ground by hitting it with an arrow,” he said, adding that it was an irony that Purulia presently faces water crisis.