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Chant Jai Shri Ram to remove evil spirits, BJP to Mamata

By Anuj Cariappa

Kolkata, June 03: Taking a dig at West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Praveen Shankar Kapoor on Sunday asked her to chant lord Ram's name, saying it will help her remove effects of "bad spirits".

In a letter to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief, Kapoor said he has also sent her a 'Bhagwan Shri Ram Naam Mantra' and asked her to keep it on her table.

File photo of Mamata Banerjee

"The effects of bad spirits has gone up to an extent that now mere chanting of 'Jai Shri Ram' in front of you provokes you to shout," Kapoor said, referring to an incident on Thursday in Bengal's 24 Parganas district where Banerjee reprimanded a group of people raising the slogan.

The chief minister, however, Sunday alleged that the BJP was mixing religion with politics by repeatedly using the 'Jai Shri Ram' phrase.

Kapoor's colleague Tajinderpal Singh Bagga and BJP MP from Bengal Arjun Singh launched campaigns to send post cards with "Jai Shri Ram" written on them to Banerjee.

In the letter, Kapoor, who is a spokesperson in the BJP's Delhi unit, claimed that in the Ramayana it is very clearly stated that anybody who has any bad effect on the mind can remove it by chanting lord Ram's name.

"Please accept my gift of 'Bhagwan Shri Ram Naam Mantra' sent through Amazon. I request you to keep it on your work table and it will soon remove the effect of bad spirits on you and make you follow the path of Ram Rajya in public service," he said.

Bagga, who was detained by the West Bengal Police on May 4 night before launch of his campaign in Kolkata, has claimed that around 25 lakh postcards were sent to Banerjee from across the country by BJP workers and supporters.

The BJP spokesperson said the behaviour of the West Bengal chief minister against those chanting the name of lord Ram has hurt the feelings of crores of Indians.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, the TMC chief said, "Jai Sia Ram, Jai Ram ji ki, Ram naam Satya hai etc have religious and social connotations. We respect these sentiments. But BJP is using religious slogan Jai Sri Ram as their party slogan in a misconceived manner by way of mixing religion with politics (sic)."

Banerjee lost her cool Thursday when a group of men shouted "Jai Shri Ram" as her motorcade was passing through North 24 Parganas district trouble Bhatpara area which is the stronghold of Singh, who had defected to the saffron party from the TMC weeks before the Lok Sabha election.

Singh defeated TMC's Dinesh Trivedi in the polls.

The Bhatpara incident was the second in the past few weeks when Banerjee lost her cool over people chanting 'Jai Shri Ram' while her motorcade passing.

The TMC and the BJP, which won 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal, are involved in a bitter war of words over the phrase.

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