The ruling Trinamool Congress and the opposition BJP organised rallies and colourful processions to celebrate Ram Navami in various parts of the state on Sunday, with the saffron party dubbing these rallies as the first step towards “uniting the Hindus” of Bengal. The TMC, in a bid to counter the rallies by the BJP and Sangh affiliates, took out colourful processions and organised Ram Puja in various parts of the state and said, “BJP won’t be able to use Ram Navami as an excuse to divide the people of the state”.
In Kolkata, several Ram Navami rallies were organised by members of the Sangh Parivar. Colourful processions with saffron flags and posters were taken out with participants shouting slogans hailing Lord Rama. “Till now there have been no reports of any untoward incident. Rallies have been successful as common people in huge numbers joined the rally. This is a first step towards uniting the Hindus of the state against the anti-Hindu TMC government,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.
The programmes are being organised under the banner of Rama Navami Utjapan Samity (Organisation for the celebration of Rama Navami). Ghosh himself took part in Ram Navami celebrations in Kharagpur area of West Midnapore district. Senior BJP leader Mukul Roy, along with state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu, took part in Ram Navami rallies at Baghbazar and Ram Leela maidan.
In Nadia, Birbhum, Bakura, East Midnapore, Purulia, Burdwan, North and South 24 Parganas, Coochbehar, North and South Dinajpur districts, huge rallies were taken out to celebrate Ram Navami. The TMC too organised rallies in various parts of the state with senior ministers like Firhad Hakim, Sadhan Pande seen taking part in these rallies. The TMC had said earlier this month it would observe Ram Navami in several districts with huge rallies.
According to ADG (law and order) Anuj Sharma, the rallies have been peaceful and there are no reports of untoward incidents. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last week directed the police not to permit any organisation to hold processions displaying arms during Ram Navami barring those who have been doing it for a long time.