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regular-article-logo Saturday, 18 May 2024

BJP engineered riot on Ram Navami day: Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee

Mamata also launched a broadside against actor-turned-politician Mithun Chakraborty who has been extensively campaigning in north Bengal for the BJP

Kousik Sen, Avijit Sinha Raiganj, Siliguri Published 19.04.24, 07:57 AM
Mamata Banerjee addresses the rally in Islampur on Thursday.

Mamata Banerjee addresses the rally in Islampur on Thursday. Kousik Sen

Mamata Banerjee on Thursday blamed the BJP for the violence during Ram Navami celebrations at Rejinagar in Murshidabad district on Wednesday and questioned the transfer of a senior police officer days before from the region by the Election Commission.

Addressing an election campaign rally at Islampur in North Dinajpur, the chief minister said: “The BJP has perpetrated violence in a planned manner. They attacked minorities and several people sustained head injuries. Altogether, 19 persons were injured. A police officer was also injured. How can the BJP take out a procession with arms, despite specific orders from the judiciary.”

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Ahead of Ram Navami which was celebrated on Wednesday, the chief minister had time and again said the saffron ecosystem was planning to trigger violence during the religious event.

On Thursday, she was critical of the EC for shunting out Mukesh as the deputy inspector general of the Murshidabad range.

“Just before Ram Navami, the DIG, who knew the (Murshidabad) district well, was transferred. It is a sensitive area. The BJP orchestrated the attack and now, its leaders are resorting to theatrics. Even in Howrah, BJP leaders were carrying arms in processions. Why won’t they be arrested?” asked the chairperson of the Trinamool Congress.

The Murshidabad district has a Muslim population of over 70 per cent. Mamata, observers said, is trying to draw their support to trounce Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on his home turf of Behrampore and other Congress-Left candidates in the district.

At the public meeting in Islampur, Imran Ali Ramz, the Congress candidate contesting from the Raiganj seat, also came under fire from Mamata.

“The Congress candidate here is contesting with the sole purpose of dividing minority votes to put Trinamool under pressure. He is doing so to help the BJP…. I would urge you not to vote for him as both the Congress and the Left are working in cahoots with the BJP,” said Mamata.

The North Dinajpur district has a minority population of around 50 per cent. Ramz’s presence in the poll fray has put Trinamool under pressure in the constituency which it has never won.

Mamata also launched a broadside against actor-turned-politician Mithun Chakraborty who has been extensively campaigning in north Bengal for the BJP.

“I had sent Mithun to Rajya Sabha as an MP. But he eventually turned out to be a traitor and bowed before the RSS in Mumbai to secure the interests of his family. He claims himself to be a ‘sevak (servitor)’ of the BJP now,” said the chief minister.

The Trinamool chief said the BJP might engage central agencies to distribute money among voters in border areas. “I want to warn agencies like the BSF and the NIA.… The BJP will not be there with you throughout your life,” she said.

Later in the day, Mamata addressed a rally at Harirampur in South Dinajpur. Harirampur is in the Balurghat Lok Sabha segment where state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar is in the fray for the second time.

“BJP leaders claimed that we had done nothing for Balurghat airport. Who gave the land and funds for the airport then? They are lying. (Narendra) Modi’s guarantee means the guarantee to close down everything like they have stopped providing funds under central schemes to us,” said the chief minister.

“If Modi wins, it will be the last election in India. They will force people to leave the country or else, they will put them in jail,” she added.

Certificate hope

Sukurmani Hansda, a resident of Palbhabanipur village in Harirampur of South Dinajpur, met Mamata Banerjee on Thursday and requested her to see that the administration issued her a “handicapped certificate”.

Hansda, along with some other women, joined Mamata on the dais for a dance. The homemaker has an old problem in one of her legs.

“I applied for the certificate several times at the panchayat and the block levels but didn’t get one. Today, I told Didi and she immediately asked Mosharaf Hossain (the Itahar MLA) and (state education) minister Bratya Basu to look into the issue. I hope I will get the certificate soon,” she said.

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