Trinamool Congress has come out in open defence of its political strategist Prashant Kishor, popularly known as PK, after a controversy erupted when the IT cell of the BJP released an audio tape where PK could be reportedly heard saying in a 'Clubhouse' chat that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is hugely popular in West Bengal, which is one of the three factors that will decide which party sweeps the state in the ongoing Assembly elections.
Trinamool Rajya Sabha member Derek O'Brien said, "They (the BJP) have only published a portion of the audio tape. Let them release the full tape. BJP will get less than 100 seats in the elections. If they release the full audio recording, we will hold a press conference."
"I have heard the full recording. In a portion it is said that the BJP is getting 38 to 39 per cent votes, but that is said against a question as to how the Trinamool is getting 45 to 46 per cent votes. Let them take out the full recording, why they are so scared," O'Brien added.
Senior Trinamool leader Dola Sen also urged the BJP to release the full audio recording.
"Of the eight-phase polling in the state, the elections for four phases have been completed. The BJP has understood that Trinamool is coming to power for a third time. Now it is trying to create sensation, else they won't get any workers," the Trinamool leader said.
Earlier, Prashant Kishor had said, "I am happy that the people of BJP are taking my Clubhouse chat more seriously than the statements of their leaders. I appeal to them to release the entire conversation except for some part of the chat. In the part that has been released, the question was being answered about how BJP is getting 40 per cent votes and how it has become the thinking that BJP is winning."
He also said through social media that the BJP will not be able to cross the 100-mark in Bengal elections.
The political controversy erupted after the IT cell of BJP released an audio tape of Trinamool poll strategist Prashant Kishor where he could be heard saying in a 'Clubhouse' chat that PM Narendra Modi is hugely popular in West Bengal and this is one of the three factors that will decide which party sweeps the state.
BJP's IT cell chief Amit Malviya, meanwhile, claimed that Prashant Kishor has accepted BJP's victory.
In the Clubhouse chat with some journalists, Kishor concedes that even in Trinamool's internal surveys, the BJP is winning. The vote is for Modi, polarisation is a reality, the SCs (27 per cent of Bengal's population), Matuas are all voting for the BJP, Malviya said.
"Another candid admission by Mamata Banerjee's election strategist - all that the Left, Congress and TMC ecosystem have done in the last 20 years is Muslim appeasement. Implication? It has resulted in resentment on ground. The speakers had not realised that the chat was public," Malviya wrote on social media.
"That moment when Mamata Banerjee's strategist realised that the Club House room was open and his admissions were being heard by the public at large and not just a handful of Lutyens journalists. Deafening silence followed...," Malviya added.