Mamata slams BJP for armed rallies on Ram Navmi

Kolkata: Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party for taking out armed rallies on the occasion of Ram Navmi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said the BJP was using religion to seek vote and incite violence.

“They have introduced a new fake religion, which is not related to Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and others. This new religion is not in line with culture of India and Bengal. They are fascists. We don’t do politics of religion and don’t need this either,” Banerjee said addressing a rally in Siliguri.

Based on this newly introduced religion, they try to “create violence”, she added.

“I do not visit any temple, church or mosque wearing the party badge to obey the model code of conduct. We are for all. Some political leaders are seeking votes carrying mace and sword. Whom are you planning to attack? It will not work in Bengal,” she said.

West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh on Saturday, donning a saffron headgear, participated in a Ram Navmi celebration in Kharagpur, West Medinipur district, and flaunted traditional weapons.

He had warned the state administration not to obstruct the Ram Navmi rallies and said the ruling Trinamool Congress would face the consequence in elections, if any such attempts were made.

Banerjee said religion is “not about violence, fight and killing people, but about humanity. Some political parties are recklessly trying to tarnish our society in the name of religion. They are misleading people.”

Taking on BJP national leaders, including its President Amit Shah, she said: “The BJP leaders have been telling lies like Mamata is not allowing them to organise Durga puja. Don’t you celebrate Durga puja here? They are saying Laxmi and Saraswati pujas are not allowed here. Can they chant Laxmi and Saraswati mantras?”

She also accused the Narendra Modi government of interfering with the choice of food of common people and imposing their wish on them. “Air India used to serve varieties of food, including non-veg, but now non-veg food are not served in the economy class. They tried to impose what they eat. Why is this?”

Banerjee also said she was proud of the country’s armed forces but will never seek votes in the name of the army like Modi.

She said the BJP would not get even 10 seats in the first phase of elections and “would fail to retain seats” even in Gujarat and UP. “They will be lucky, if they cross 100 mark.”

Attacking the Congress and the Left Front, Banerjee urged people “not to vote the Left parties as they would not even secure a single Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal” while the Congress “should stop their got-up match”.

“If you vote for the Left parties, it will strengthen the BJP. Also, you should not waste your votes by supporting Congress candidate,” she said and added the Congress and the Left parties were in a tieup with the BJP.