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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 21 May 2024

TMC Rajya Sabha member Mamatabala Thakur alleges swearing-in insult from Jagdeep Dhankar

'Today I am sad amid happiness since I could not swear in the name of Harichand-Guruchand Thakur.... Everyone except me took oath today according to their choice. But I was stopped midway and had to read out the words of the oath again,' the Matua leader told reporters

Subhasish Chaudhuri Calcutta Published 11.04.24, 10:05 AM
Mamatabala Thakur.

Mamatabala Thakur. File picture

Trinamul’s newly elected Rajya Sabha member Mamatabala Thakur on Wednesday alleged that she was forced to read her oath twice as officials of the Upper House and Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankar did not allow her to swear in the name of the Matua cult gurus Harichand and Guruchand Thakur.

“Today I am sad amid happiness since I could not swear in the name of Harichand-Guruchand Thakur.... Everyone except me took oath today according to their choice. But I was stopped midway and had to read out the words of the oath again,” the Matua leader told reporters.

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An appeal to allow her to take oath in the names of “Harichand-Guruchand” was turned down by Rajya Sabha officials and Vice-President Dhankhar, she alleged. She was told to take her oath in the name of God.

An angry Mamatabala, who heads the pro-Trinamul faction of All India Matua Mahasangha, termed it an “insult” to the entire sect and the “blackest day” of her life.

She said devotees of Harichand-Guruchand would not accept the insult and would give a befitting reply to the BJP. “It is unfortunate that I was not allowed to mention the names of Hari-Guruchand for whom our Prime Minister visited Thakurbari to pay tribute.... Being a Matua, this is the blackest day in my life,” she said.

Mamatabala said she tried to convince Dhankhar to allow her to take oath in the names of “Harichand-Guruchand” but was overruled. “I spoke to the chairman but he asked me to read only what was written,” she said.

Matua leader and Trinamul’s Bongaon candidate Biswajit Das said: “Both Jagdeep Dhankhar and the BJP do not believe that Harichand-Guruchand are our gods and we offer our prayers to them.”

A Trinamul leader said: “The BJP MP from Karnataka Narayana Krishnasa Bhandage during the oath raised the Jai Shri Ram slogan. But there was no protest. If the names of Harichand-Guruchand were not allowed and omitted from records, why was Shri Ram allowed?”

Reacting to Mamatabala’s allegations, a pro-BJP Matua leader said he saw no humiliation.

"MPs read out a formatted text while taking the oath. The officials are guided by protocol. Mamatabala is unnecessarily trying to politicise the incident,” he said.

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