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Amit Shah Promises 'Sonar Bangla', Mamata Counters With 'Secular Bangla'

Reacting to Shah’s attack on TMC, Mamata Banerjee said, “Those who respect religion, do not sell it out on the streets. At any cost we will not allow any communal riots in Bengal.”

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:April 28, 2017, 10:51 AM IST
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Amit Shah Promises 'Sonar Bangla', Mamata Counters With 'Secular Bangla'
Shah said soon BJP will come to power in the state and people will be free to observe festivals like Saraswati Puja and Durga Puja the way they want.
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Kolkata: Wrapping up his three-day visit to West Bengal with the launch of mission ‘Ebar Bangla’ (This time Bengal) on Thursday, BJP President Amit Shah raked up religious issues like Saraswati Puja and immersion of Durga idols.

Shah said soon BJP will come to power in the state and people will be free to observe festivals like Saraswati Puja and Durga Puja the way they want. “No one will have to approach the court to seek permission for the immersion of Durga idols,” he said.

During a visit to Bharatiya Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookerjee’s residence at South Kolkata's Bhawanipur, which also happens to be Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s home turf, Shah said, “Bengal under TMC’s rule became a poverty stricken state. But I promise, if we form government in Bengal, this place will be known for development like other BJP-ruled states, including Maharashtra and Gujarat.”

“Our target is to provide jobs to youths in this state. We want to reclaim Bengal’s lost glory. I promise we will do it, if voted to power. I would like to assure you that once again people will start calling it Sonar Bangla,” he said. “In 2019, no one can stop lotus from blooming here.”

Reacting to Shah’s attack on TMC, Mamata Banerjee said, “Those who respect religion, do not sell it out on the streets. At any cost we will not allow any communal riots in Bengal.”

Speaking to media in Alipurduar, she said, “BJP and CPM indulge in hooliganism. We do not support that. I would like to tell babus of Delhi that Bengal is not scared of their intimidation. This is the land of culture and education, and we respect all religions.”

When asked to respond on Shah’s aggressive mass political campaign in Bengal, Mamata said, “They are spreading lies. These Delhi babus are here to mislead the people of Bengal. They are in a hurry to capture power in Bengal.”

“They go to slums in the morning and eat dinner at five star hotels at night. Such are their double standards. I go to the slums every day. It is not right to call the poor, poor. I respect all the poor and struggling people,” he added.

ALSO READ | Mamata Takes on Shah's 'Ebar Bangla' Challenge With 'We Will Capture Delhi'

Shah’s three-day Bengal tour was focused on strengthening the party at the grassroots level ahead of the crucial panchayat and local body polls. He started his Mission Bengal from Naxalbari in North Bengal and ended it with a public meet in Rajarhat in northern fringes of Kolkata.

In the morning, he had a first ‘Parivar Meeting’ with all RSS-linked groups in Bengal. The meeting was held at Port Trust Guest house in Bhowanipur where Shah met Bidyut Mukherjee, organisational secretary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Others present in the meet were Jishnu Basu, RSS general secretary in South Bengal; Sachin Singha, Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s zonal organising secretary in-charge of Odisha, Bengal, Sikkim, Andaman & Nicobar Islands; and ABVP’s Kishore Burman.

According to sources, the RSS-affiliated organizations complained to Shah about the alleged atrocities on Hindus and Mamata’s appeasement politics. VHP’s Sachin Singha said, “Amit Ji promised to visit Bengal frequently to oversee party’s work. We are happy that he met us for the first time in Bengal. He was happy to see the BJP’s surge in Bengal.”

ALSO READ | Ebar Bangla, Roars BJP President Amit Shah on Mamata's Turf

Violence in college campuses and students raising ‘Azadi’ slogans in Bengal was also discussed during the meet. Shah was told that some RSS-linked groups have taken the task of “counselling students”, who “lost their way due to bad company and raising anti-national slogans”.

“We have started Grameen Jeevan Darshan (village life tour) for students across Bengal to show them the real picture of India. This will help these (directionless) students to realise the importance of India,” one of the leaders present in the meet said.

| Edited by: Swati Sharma
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