West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said the BJP is using ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans to “mix religion with politics”. A Delhi BJP leader, meanwhile, has written to Banerjee, urging her to chant Lord Ram’s name as it “removes the effects of bad spirits”.
In a Facebook post, Banerjee alleged that the BJP was making attempts to “sell hate ideology through vandalism and violence”. “Jai Sia Ram, Jai Ramji ki, Ram Naam Satya Hai, etc., have religious and social connotations. We respect these sentiments. But the BJP is using religious slogan ‘Jai Sri Ram’ as its party slogan in a misconceived manner by way of mixing religion with politics. We do not respect this forcible enforcement of political slogans on others in the name of so called RSS which Bengal has never accepted,” she wrote.
The remark came days after she confronted some alleged BJP supporters for raising ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans as her convoy was passing by. Banerjee had then reprimanded the people and also asked police to take action against them.
“This is a deliberate attempt to sell hate ideology through vandalism and violence, which we must oppose together. One can fool some people sometimes, but cannot fool all the people all the time,” she wrote in her post.
“From Ram Mohan Roy to Vidyasagar to other great social reformers, Bengal has been a seat of harmony, progress and forward thinking. But now, the misconceived strategy of BJP is targeting Bengal in a very negative manner. This is high time that proper action is taken to restrain political workers from creating unrest, chaos, violence and disrupt normal life by taking recourse to misplaced ideologies in the so called name of religion and create divide among the people,” she wrote.
Praveen Shankar Kapoor, a spokesperson in the Delhi BJP unit, has written to Banerjee, urging her to chant Lord Ram’s name.
“The effects of bad spirits has gone up to an extent that now mere chanting of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in front of you provokes you to shout,” Kapoor has said in the letter. “Please accept my gift of ‘Bhagwan Shri Ram Naam Mantra’ sent through Amazon. I request you to keep it on your work table and it will soon remove the effect of bad spirits on you and make you follow the path of Ram Rajya in public service,” he said.
Kapoor’s colleague Tajinderpal Singh Bagga and BJP MP Arjun Singh had said they would launch campaigns to send postcards with “Jai Shri Ram” written on them to Banerjee. Bagga, who was detained before the launch of his campaign in Kolkata, claimed that around 25 lakh postcards were sent to Banerjee by BJP workers and supporters. —With PTI inputs