WITH AN eye on panchayat polls later this year, Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal on Monday organised a ‘Brahmin and Purohit Sammelan’ in Bolpur town of Birbhum district.
Mondal is the party’s Birbhum district president.
Trinamool leaders maintained that around 15,000 Hindu priests took part in the conference. A copy of the Gita, a shawl and pictures of Sarada Maa and Ramakrishna were handed over to each participant.
Mondal said the conference aimed to highlight “misinterpretations” of the Hindu religion made by the BJP and discuss what the religion stands for.
“The conference was organised to spread the real meaning of the Hindu religion. The BJP is not interpreting the religion in the right manner. In the name of Hindutva politics, it is misleading the people of the country. If we have to learn about Hindu religion, we will learn it from Hindu priests and not from the BJP. Hindu priests are real Hindus,” Mondal said while addressing the priests.
On whether the conference was organised by Trinamool to counter BJP’s allegations that the ruling party only indulges in minority appeasement, Mondal said: “I don’t consider BJP to be a political party. In 2019, it will not exist in the country.”
A source said thousands of Hindu priests attended the meet.
The conference comes days after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s visited the Sagar Island to take stock of security arrangements for the January 14 Makar Sankranti festival.
Later, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh told mediapersons, “Now, Trinamool has finally realised that Hindus are with the BJP and in a bid to get their attention, such conferences are being organised. They have also realised that they will not win future elections in Bengal by only appeasing Muslims. There is no reason to panic, as we know that Hindus are with the BJP.”
Refuting the “soft Hindutva” allegation, Mondal said Trinamool will also organise a conference of Muslim clerics later this month.
Addressing the conference, he stressed the need to make a new generation of Hindu priests as a “society cannot exist without Hindu priests”. He also described the priests as the “teachers of the society”.