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Mamata fires fresh salvo at BJP over Ram Navami issue


Asansol, Apr 7: Renewing her attack on the BJP for 'mixing politics and religion', West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday accused the party of trying to incite communal tension in the state and called upon the people to remain alert.

File photo of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

"BJP is trying to disturb the communal harmony in the state. Who are they to decide what a person will eat or wear? Every religion has its own rituals and everyone has the right to perform rituals according to his or her belief...I don't believe in creating divisions in the name of religion. I was born in a Hindu family, but does that mean I will not participate in religious functions of Sikhs, Muslims or Christians? I will participate in these functions a hundred times. If you have the power, stop me," she told a gathering in Asansol on the occasion of creation of the new Burdwan West district.

Referring to the RSS-BJP-backed Ram Navami processions in which arms were allegedly carried, Banerjee said, "If you carry arms in processions without permission, the law will not allow it. I will not give permission to such programmes."

"We do not indulge in the politics of division and we will not tolerate a communal riot in Bengal," she added.

The chief minister defended the police action against state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh for brandishing a sword at a Ram Navami function in Kharagpur, saying no one can organise such an event without permission.

The police had on Thursday filed cases under non-bailable sections against Ghosh. Reacting to Banerjee's statement, the BJP said law should be the same for everyone and the state government should stop 'targeting' their party workers.

BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said, "Do you need permission to organise Muharram processions? Then why do you need permission to organise a Ram Navami procession?"

"Will the state government take action against the TMC leaders who participated in the Ram Navami processions with arms? The law should be the same for everyone and the TMC government should stop targeting BJP workers," he added.


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