A day after VHP leaders Praveen Togadia and Jughal Kishore were booked for their alleged hate speeches in Birbhum where around 50 Christians and Muslims were converted to Hinduism, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said the government will take strict action against all those who try to set one community against another for their own political ends.
Mamata was speaking at the ‘Loan Mela’ for minority students, organised jointly by the state minority affairs and madrasa education department and West Bengal Minorities Development and Finance Corporation.
“Conversion? What conversion? We have heard poor adivasis had been lured into conversion… ke ek utko Haridas Pal (some unknown rootless person) has come and is indulging in this thing… India is a secular country and it has been guaranteed by the Constitution. If you really want to do this, amend the Constitution…,” she said.
“But I must warn all those who indulge in the mischievpous game of creating a wedge between communities… anything that goes against law and Constitution will be severely dealt with. Law will take its own course,” Mamata said amid thunderous applause from the audience comprising not only students but also leaders from minority communities.
Referring to the Centre, Mamata said that it must respect the federal structure of the country. “If you have been elected by the people, we also have the mandate of the people. You have no right to insult us. Efforts are being made to start a fight among all communities. Why don’t you go for governance?” she said.
Mamata added: “I am ready to lay down my life to protect the secular and federal character of the country. The people of Bengal will not forgive those people who insult them.”
During her speech, Mamata invited Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim to recite a shayari from Tamanna — her book of shayaris that was recently released at the Kolkata Book Fair. On the occasion, Mamata distributed Rs 132 crore among students from various communities who attended the function.