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regular-article-logo Friday, 21 June 2024

PM Modi targets Mamata Banerjee, says she's attacking Hindu mission monks to please vote bank

ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangh are known all over the world for their service to the people... But the Bengal government points fingers at them, says PM at Purulia rally

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 19.05.24, 04:08 PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during a public meeting for Lok Sabha elections, in Purulia, West Bengal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during a public meeting for Lok Sabha elections, in Purulia, West Bengal. PTI picture.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while campaigning in Purulia on Sunday, said chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s threats at a section of Hindu monks was made to appease her “vote bank.”

“The ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangh are known all over the world for their service to the people. The chief minister of Bengal is threatening the monks who serve the people. She is threatening them by name only to keep her vote bank happy,” Modi said.

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“Their only mission is to serve people. But the Bengal government points fingers at them. The country won’t tolerate their insult. You have to punish the Trinamul in this election,” he added

On Saturday, addressing a campaign meeting in Hooghly’s Kamarpukur, Mamata had raised questions on the role of certain monks from the three organisations in the ongoing elections.

“All monks are not equal. There is one in Berhampore. I have been hearing his name for some time. Kartik Maharaj. I had great respect for Bharat Sevashram Sangh. But, someone who says he will not allow Trinamul agents, I don’t consider him a monk because he is engaging in 'direct politics'. I have identified who all are doing these,” Mamata had said.

She also named the Ramakrishna Mission in Asansol and allege its monks were issuing instructions on who to vote for. “When CPM had stopped food, I had supported the mission. The ancestral home of Swami Vivekananda would have been sold if this daughter was not there. I know the monks don’t vote. Why will they suggest whom to vote for?” she said.

She had also accused ISKCON of working in favour of the BJP on instructions from Delhi.

BJP IT cell head and Bengal co-minder Amit Malviya, in a post on his X handle, said, the Sangh (Bharat Sevashram Sangh) will now approach the high court against her for maligning Hindu saints.

“Hindu organisations will also launch protest against Mamata Banerjee across Bengal for targeting ISKCON, Bharat Sevashram Sangh and Ramakrishna Mission. All Hindu organisations must come forward against Mamata’s open anti-Hindu rhetoric,” Malviya wrote. “Will Mamata Banerjee dare to speak a word against Mohammad Yahya, chairman of the Bengal Imam Association, who is openly urging Muslims to band together and vote for the TMC?” he added.

A TV news clipping shared by the BJP’s IT cell head and Bengal co-minder Amit Malviya, showed Kartik Maharja refuting the allegations levelled against him. “A complete lie. I have never said any such thing. I am challenging her. Our devotees will protest,” he said. “We will move the Calcutta high court. She must prove the allegations.”

Bengal Opposition leader. Suvendu Adhikary had also raised the same question. “If Imams can appeal for votes, what is wrong if Kartik Maharaj does so?” Adhikari asked.

Modi’s speech on Sunday at the Purulia ground gave the seal of approval on the BJP’s strategy to keep alive the issue in the remaining three phases of polling starting from Monday.

“The people of Bengal are scared of the Trinamul thugs. With this attack on the monks, the Trinamul has crossed all limits,” Modi said.

He reiterated once the next government is formed after June 4, strict action will be taken against those involved in cases of corruption.

At his last speech for the day in Midnapore he said TMC is hurting Hindu sentiments and carry out “vote jihad”. “The chief minister’s comments have angered those who stand for humanity,” Modi said. “One TMC MLA had said Hindus will be thrown in the Bhagirathi. The monks advised them not to indulge in such politics. The CM got upset and crossed all limits.” Modi said, Mamata did not censure the MLA but protected the Sandeshkhali accused Sheikh Shahjahan.

Modi claimed Trinamul’s policy of appeasement had upset the demography of Bengal. “They call refugees outsiders but infiltrators are there own,” Modi said. The prime minister asked the crowd if they knew who makes fake Aadhar and ration cards for the infiltrators. "The Trinamul government does that," said Modi answering his own question.

Ahead of Monday's fifth phase of polling, Modi will address two more meetings at Bishnupur and Midnapore which will go to polls in the next phase on May 25.

On Monday, he will address two rallies in Haldia under the Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency and another at Jhargram.

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