Monday, 30th October 2017

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Mamata flare-up finger at Babul

CM accused the Asansol MP of 'instigating communal violence'

By Abhijeet Chatterjee in Raniganj and Asansol
  • Published 27.04.19, 1:57 AM
  • Updated 27.04.19, 1:57 AM
  • a min read
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Mamata in Asansol on Friday Picture by Santosh Kumar Mandal

Mamata Banerjee on Friday insinuated that Asansol MP and Union minister Babul Supriyo was “instigating communal violence”, referring to the BJP leader as the “local MP” and urging voters to reject him.

“In our (Trinamul) regime, there was not a single incident of communal violence in Bengal but here (Asansol), the MP you have elected last time is instigating communal clashes. But our government and the police have strictly handled all provocations,” the chief minister said at a rally in Raniganj.

Sources said Mamata was referring to the weeklong violence over Ram Navami processions in Raniganj and Asansol last year that claimed three lives and injured several policemen, including a deputy commissioner of police.

Asked about Mamata’s claim, Supriyo said on Friday night: “Initially, I had a lot of respect for Mamata Banerjee as a successful politician. But now it does not matter what she says about the BJP or me. We have left everything to the people.” The singer-turned-MP had won by over 70,000 votes in 2014, defeating Trinamul’s Dola Sen.

“Her (Mamata’s) comments come in the wake of some Facebook posts by Babul Supriyo that apparently instigated hatred towards a community and provoked violence,” said a Trinamul leader in Asansol. This year, a clash over Ram Navami processions occurred in Barakar, 30km from Asansol.

On Friday, Mamata alleged that the “local MP” was not seen in his constituency through the year and came “only to instigate violence”. “He (Babul) has not done anything for his constituency other than provoking communal tension but now he has come here to seek votes. Do not vote for him,” Mamata told supporters at the Polo Ground in Asansol. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a rally for Supriyo at the same venue three days ago.

Sources said Mamata attacked the BJP keeping in mind the mixed population and a sizeable chunk of Muslim voters in Asansol.

“Mamata’s attempt was to woo Muslim as well as Hindu voters. She was trying to send the message that voting the BJP means inviting more violence,” said another Trinamul leader.

According to Mamata, the BJP remembers Ram only during elections. “They have failed to build the Ram temple in five years and are now they are talking big,” the chief minister said.