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Nobody should feel pain while chanting 'Jai Shri Ram': Sanjay Raut

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Mumbai, Jan 25: Days after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee declined to speak at an event where''Jai Shri Ram'' slogans were raised, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Rautsaid nobody should feel pain while chanting the slogan.

Sanjay Raut

Talking to reporters here on Monday, Raut said he issure Mamata Banerjee also has faith in Lord Ram.

Banerjee on Saturday declined to speak at an officialprogramme to celebrate Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's 125thbirth anniversary in Kolkata after ''Jai Shri Ram'' slogans wereraised from the audience in the presence of Prime MinisterNarendra Modi.

She said such ''insult'' was unacceptable.

Asked about the BJP accusing Banerjee of feelingpained when chanting the slogan, Raut said, ''Nobody shouldfeel pained to say 'Jai Shri Ram' in the country.'' ''Nobody's secularism will be under threat by sayingJai Shri Ram. We think Lord Ram is the pride of the countryand support,'' he said.

''Jai Shri Ram is not any political word. It is amatter of our faith, and I am sure that Mamata Didi also hasfaith in Lord Ram,'' the Rajya Sabha member said.

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An editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' also saidBanerjee should not have got upset when ''Jai Shri Ram'' sloganswere raised by some people during the programme.

''Rather, tables would have turned on them (those whoraised slogans) had she mixed her voice among theirs. Buteveryone is catering to their own vote banks,'' it said.

The BJP has identified Banerjee's ''weak point'' and itwill keep playing up such sensitive issues until the Assemblyelections (in West Bengal) are over, it said.

The editorial also launched a veiled attack on theBJP, accusing it of poaching TMC leaders in West Bengal todefeat the Mamata Banerjee-led party in the forthcoming pollsin that state.

It said the leadership of West Bengal, Punjab andMaharashtra were at the forefront of the country's freedomstruggle.

The three states are fighting for their self-pride atpresent also and the Centre is against them, it claimed.

Farmers from Punjab, who are agitating against theCentre's new farm laws near Delhi border, are allegedly beingtrampled, it said.

Maharashtra is being targeted in a ''pre-decided''manner, the Marathi daily alleged, apparently referring tonotices by central agencies to some of the Maha Vikas Aghadi(MVA) leaders.

The BJP poached Congress and NCP leaders ahead of the2014 Maharashtra Assembly polls and gave them candidature, italleged and said most of such candidates had got elected.

''What happened in Maharashtra is (now) happening inWest Bengal. (BJP) doesn't have anything of its own. Itcreates its legion poaching with whom it is going to fight. Ithappened in Bihar. Now, struggle is on to defeat the TMC bypoaching TMC (leaders),'' the Shiv Sena charged.

Notably, West Bengal forest minister Rajib Banerjeequit the Mamata Banerjee cabinet recently, joining the growinglist of dissenters who have put the ruling camp in a tightspot ahead of the Assembly elections.

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    The editorial said the BJP winning 18 Lok Sabha seatsin West Bengal is a matter of concern for Mamata Banerjee.

    ''But this Bengal tigress (Mamata Banerjee) is the onewho fights on the streets and will keep fighting,'' it added.

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