November 16, 2018 6:20:57 pm
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday ridiculed the scheduled ‘rath yatra’ of the BJP as ‘ravan yatra’ and called for the cleansing of areas through which the saffron party’s chariots would pass. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo also urged people to “ignore the event as just another political gimmick”.
“I have asked my party workers to conduct ‘purification and unity yatra’ to cleanse the areas through which the chariots pass. I wonder what sort of yatra it would be with chariots equipped with five-star facilities. It is ‘ravan yatra’, not ‘rath yatra’,” she quipped.
The state BJP leadership was quick to hit back, claiming that Banerjee was suffering from “fear psychosis” as it dreads losing to the BJP in the next Lok Sabha polls. “It seems Mamata Banerjee and the TMC is suffering from fear psychosis. They are feeling threatened by the ‘rath yatra’ as it is aimed at restoring democracy in the state,” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said.
Amit Shah, the national president of the saffron party, is set to kick off three ‘rath yatras’ – which will cover all 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bengal – on December 5, 7 and 9.
At the conclusion of the ‘yatra’, the party plans to hold a massive rally in Kolkata, likely to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Buoyed by its performance in the last panchayat polls in Bengal, Shah has set a target of winning at least 22 parliamentary seats in the state. Reacting to the row over political ‘yatras’, senior CPI(M) leader and former MP Samik Lahiri said the TMC-led government should cancel permission for the rally instead of making “tall claims”.
“The state government should decline permission for the rally. But the fact is it won’t do such a thing. Both the parties are engaged in competitive communalism in the state,” he added.
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