Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for claiming that 40 Trinamool Congress MLAs were in touch with him. He said Mr. Modi should be “banned for 72 years” for his “shameful” speech.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) recently barred several leaders, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu from campaigning for 72 hours due to Model Code of Conduct (MCC) violations.

“Vikas (development) is asking… Did you hear the shameful speech of Pradhanji (PM)? After losing the faith of 125 crore countrymen, he (Modi) is now relying on the unethical assurance of defection allegedly given by the 40 MLAs,” he tweeted.

“This reflects his (Modi) black money mentality. He should be banned for not 72 hours but for 72 years,” he said.

On the campaign trail in West Bengal on Monday, Mr. Modi said, “Didi, even your MLAs will desert you when the results of this election are out. Your 40 MLAs are in touch with me and all your MLAs will desert you once the BJP wins the election. Political ground has slipped from under your feet.”

“With just a handful of seats, ‘Didi’ you can’t reach Delhi. Delhi is far away. Going to Delhi is just an excuse. Her real intention is to politically establish her nephew,” he had said.

The Trinamool leadership was quick to hit back, accusing the Prime Minister of horse-trading and saying it would complain to the ECI about it.