Bengal Ram Navami row: BJP MP Rajen Gohain ticks off rallies with arms

"I did not support rallies with arms," said BJP MP Rajen Gohain

By: PTI | Krishnagar | Published:April 9, 2017 9:42 pm
BJP MP Rajen Gohain (File Photo)

Though BJP leaders in West Bengal saw nothing wrong in displaying arms during a Ram Navami rally on Wednesday, Union Minister and BJP leader Rajen Gohain today differed saying he did not approve of it. Asked for his opinion on the display of swords and knives during the RSS-backed Ram Navami processions in various parts of the state on April 5, Union Minister of State for Railways Gohain told a press conference that he did not support rallies with arms.

Gohain initially denied that the rallies were held with arms, but when asked if he did not consider swords as arms, he said, “It was an improper act.”

Defending holding of rallies with arms, BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha had earlier said, “Sword and knives are not weapons. In many schools and programmes these are used for physical drills. There is nothing wrong in it.”

An FIR has been registered against West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh on the charge of leading a rally with swords on the occasion of Ram Navami in Kharagpur.

In the press conference at Ranaghat in Nadia district, Gohain said the problem relating to Teesta water sharing with Bangladesh would be solved within a few days.

“It will take some time but the Teesta related problem with the West Bengal CM will get solved within a few days,” he said.

The long-pending Teesta water sharing agreement remained elusive primarily due to opposition to it by Banerjee who was present with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina during launch of new train and bus services between the two countries yesterday.

Modi expressed hope that the West Bengal chief minister would eventually support the agreement, Banerjee later met Hasina and suggested taht water of other small rivers which also flow into Bangladesh can be shared.

Reminded of the TMC’s allegation that the BJP was trying to make West Bengal a second Gujarat, Gohain said, “West Bengal is going to be the second Bangladesh.”

He, however, did not elaborate on this. Gohain, who was here to hold a closed-door party workers’ meeting, claimed that his party would win 80 per cent seats in the next Assembly election.

On railway projects of the state, he said, “We have the target to complete the announced projects first. But the West Bengal government failed to acquire required land for many projects for which work got stopped.”

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