BJP sowing seeds of divisions among different communities in Bengal: Mamata

Kolkata, May 23 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused the BJP of sowing seeds of division among communities in the state.

Addressing a rally in support of TMC candidate Sudip Bandyopadhyay in Kolkata Uttar, Banerjee pointed to a recent meeting where the Rajasthan Chief Minister interacted with Marwari businessmen in the city, highlighting BJP’s financial prowess.

“The BJP is a well-funded party, with ample resources to engage with businessmen from any community they choose. Individuals have the freedom to associate with whomever they wish, and I have no objection to that. However, I would like to ask these businessmen: Hasn’t Bengal shown you respect all these years? Haven’t we supported you whenever you needed assistance? In Bengal, every resident, regardless of their community, is considered one of us,” she said.

Banerjee condemned the BJP for fostering divisions based on language, religion, and ethnicity, urging people not to succumb to such tactics. “BJP always harps on this Bengali-non-Bengali, Hindu-Muslim theory. They create rifts. Please don’t fall in their trap,” she said.

Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah of spreading falsehood that “Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja are not being allowed in Bengal,” Banerjee said, “every citizen of the state knows it is a blatant lie.”

Banerjee challenged them to recite Saraswati Puja and Jagannath Puja mantras, questioning their familiarity with Bengal’s rich cultural heritage.

Emphasising Modi’s lack of understanding of Bengal’s ethos and customs, Banerjee invited him to a public debate on various issues.

She proposed that Modi be accompanied by ten officers and a teleprompter, while she would speak spontaneously before the media and the public. Banerjee dared Modi, who she alleged had avoided press conferences, to face unscripted questions from the media.

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