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regular-article-logo Friday, 21 June 2024

Neither do we indulge in politics nor do we ask people to vote for any party: Bengal monks

Some monks of two prominent monastic orders in West Bengal were working "under instructions of the BJP", Mamata Banerjee said earlier.

PTI Calcutta Published 19.05.24, 05:38 PM
Belur Math

Belur Math File

Amid a raging controversy over West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accusing some monks of two prominent monastic orders of working in favour of the BJP in the elections, the religious bodies on Sunday claimed that they have always stayed away from politics and never sought votes for candidates of any party.

Banerjee, the Trinamul Congress supremo, had in an election rally on Saturday alleged that some monks of two prominent monastic orders in West Bengal were working "under instructions of the BJP".

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Banerjee had alleged that some monks of Ramakrishna Mission had asked devotees in Asansol to vote in favour of BJP, while a monk of Bharat Sevashram Sangha had forbidden a TMC agent to sit at a polling station in Baharampur.

Referring to the allegations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at a rally in Purulia on Sunday, said that TMC has gone "beyond limits" by spreading canards against Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha and that Banerjee was "threatening them" to appease her vote bank.

Both Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha dismissed the allegations and asserted that they focus only on service to the society.

A senior monk at Ramakrishna Mission's headquarters at Belur said, "We are pained and anguished at the insinuations... we do not wish to be implicated in any controversy... thousands of visitors from all walks of life come to our premises to pray and meditate, including the PM and the CM... everyone is same for us." "We try to spread among people the eternal values of religion and spiritualism. To my knowledge, neither the mission nor any monk of our order had asked anyone to vote for any particular party," he added.

A spokesperson of the Bharat Sevashram Sangha said, "From cyclones to COVID, we have always rushed to the aid of the affected in far flung areas. We are a 107-year-old organisation and our monks run charitable health clinics, hospitals and educational institutions across the country. Neither had we ever been involved in politics nor we will be in the future."

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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