West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Sunday expressed her anger at a group of people who shouted “Jai Shri Ram” while her convoy was passing through West Midnapore district’s Chandrakona area.
The incident took place at Ballavpur village near Chandrakona town when Banerjee was returning after holding an election rally in the district’s Ghatal constituency.
A video being circulated on social media shows Banerjee stepping out from her vehicle in a bid to confront the people who fled after seeing her. “Palachhis keno? Ay ay. Haridas sob. Galagali sikheche. (Why are you running away? Come Here. Who do you think you are? Using slangs,” the TMC supremo is heard saying in the video.
The video was also shared by the official Twitter handle of West Bengal BJP. “Why is Didi so upset with chants of Jai Shri Ram and why does she call it galagali?” tweeted the party.
The TMC, however, said the BJP is desperate to win in West Bengal and this is the reason why they are twisting the whole incident.
“Desperate BJP in Bengal doing what they do best. Shame on their desperation to put spin on a video and create falsehood. Bengal has rejected them and they know that. They’ll have no place to hide on May 23,” tweeted TMC.
Police sources said three men — Sayan Midda, Sitaram Midda and Buddhadeb Dolui — have been detained in connection with the incident. “Three persons have been detained,” said a senior police officer on condition of anonymity.
West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “Why is she scared to hear the slogan? She will have to get used to it now. Or is she saying that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ is not allowed in Bengal? They have chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ but she is saying that they have used slangs… Now, people are being arrested for chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’. This shows how scared she is to hear the chant,” Ghosh said.
Hitting back at Ghosh, TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said people are being asked to chant “Jai Shri Ram” in exchange for money. “Anyone can chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. But, in this case, the BJP is spending money to force people to say it. They don’t have supporters here and don’t have any ideology. They have no programme except bad-mouthing us. They only try to malign us and use slangs to discredit us,” Chatterjee said.