January 25, 2021 3:58:00 am
The war of words between the BJP and Trinamool Congress over West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s refusal to speak at the event to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose after Jai Shri Ram slogans were raised continued on Sunday.
While Trinamool leaders have alleged that BJP supporters raised the slogans to humiliate and heckle the Chief Minister, the BJP has accused Banerjee of trying to appease the minority population.
TMC MP and Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday said it was a deliberate attempt by BJP not to let the Chief Minister to speak in the event.
“Yesterday, the CM elected by 2.5 crore people in the state was humiliated… I appeal to people to give a befitting reply to people who insult Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on his birth anniversary,” Abhishek said while speaking at a public meeting in South 24 Parganas district.
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On Saturday, Chief Minister Banerjee, sharing a dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Victoria Memorial, refused to speak after a section of the audience raised ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans when she was about to speak.
Banerjee had said, “I feel a government programme should have some dignity. This is a government programme, not the programme of a political party… I thank the PM and the Culture Ministry for organising the programme in Kolkata. But it doesn’t behove you to humiliate a person after extending an invitation.”
Condemning the incident, TMC MP Mahua Moitra said, “Never have I been prouder to be part of Mamatadi’s team. In an ocean of monkeys she stands out as the lone lioness. Nation Needs to Know: How come when Great Lord & Protector Shri Modi was speaking at Netaji event none of his fans hailed him with Jai Shri Ram? How come the heckle cry was only raised when CM Mamatadi spoke?…”
Senior TMC leader and state minister Firhad Hakim said, “BJP has turned a government programme into a joke. Will it look good If Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes to an event and we engage in sloganeering? This is an insult to Lord Ram as well…”
Hitting back, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said, “Jai Shri Ram slogan is raised to welcome guests. When the PM arrived (at the event), the slogan was raised. The same was done when Mamata Banerjee arrived. What is there in this slogan that Mamata Banerjee felt insulted?… she has done it keeping a political agenda in mind. She has done it to appease 30 per cent [an apparent reference to the Muslim community] population,” he said.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “Those who consider Jai Shri Ram a slang should refrain from politics… Mamata Banerjee deserved this as she had sent people to jail for chanting this slogan. Of course we will do politics over Netaji’s legacy. He was a political leader so we will 100 per cent indulge in politics over his name…”
Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Chowdhury said, “It was done to insult Mamata Banerjee. We feel insulted as she is the CM and a woman. We must respect the dignity of her chair. I am strongly protesting this.”
CPM leader Mohammad Salim said, “It must be condemned. At the same time, Mamata Banerjee has turned almost all her government programmes into political events. It is a different matter who learnt this from whom. We will hope she will mend her ways.” Left Front chairman Biman Bose, too, condemned the incident, saying it was an insult to the state.
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