West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was met with ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans in Nandigram on Tuesday when she visited a TMC worker, who had been allegedly beaten up and injured. This was for the second time in the day that slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ were raised by BJP supporters to allegedly heckle the TMC supremo. Earlier in the day, Banerjee, who has been campaigning on a wheel-chair, was chased by people raising the slogans while she was holding a road show of her own in Nandigram .
Mamata Banerjee is pitted against her one time loyalist-turned- rival Suvendu Adhikari of BJP in the high-profile Nandigram constituency that will go to vote on April 1.
Banerjee had in the past strongly reacted to ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans in the past. She had refused to speak at an event to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Subhash Chandra Bose in Kolkata in January where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present. During the programme, she said she felt insulted by ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans. The TMC had claimed that the slogans were raised to heckle the chief minister.
A senior BJP leader said raising ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan was not a crime, as people across the country revere the Hindu deity. Local TMC members, however, claimed that the “BJP, sensing defeat, is resorting to cheap tactics” to inconvenience others.
The TMC chief, an MLA from Bhawanipore, this time decided to fight the elections from Nandigram, where Adhikari has been fielded by the BJP. The two had engaged in a bitter war of words over the past few days, with Adhikari accusing Banerjee of practising appeasement politics, and the TMC boss alleging that the saffron camp had been trying to polarise voters on religious lines.