Mamata asks BJP not to cash in on Ram Navami as saffron outfits observe occasion with furvour

Bankura/Kolkata
5 Apr 2017

With the BJP-RSS celebrating Ram Navami in a big way in West Bengal today, chief minister Mamata Banerjee accused the BJP of trying to 'appropriate' the festival and asked it not to mix religion with politics.

"The BJP should not describe Ram Navami as its own. The BJP has nothing to do with it. It should stop using religion (for politics). (During the Assembly election) In UP they sought 'Sabka Sath,' but in Bengal they are playing divisive politics," Mamata said mounting an attack on the saffron party. "We work for the people of all castes, creed and religion," she said. The chief minister also alleged that the BJP was using the 'Om' symbol in their political programmes. "Who has given you (BJP) the right to use the Om symbol? Is it your party symbol? Religious leaders chant it. We all chant Om Namah Shivaya," she said at a public meeting here.

"The BJP is mixing politics with religion. They are conspiring to divide the nation ... Chant Om sitting at home. Do not use it in your party programmes," she thundered. If BJP wants to use 'Om' in their programmes, it should go to the Election Commission and have its party symbol changed, she said alleging that the BJP and CPM were hand-in-glove. She took on the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre for reducing interest rates in small savings schemes and said it was "taking away everything" from common men. "You (BJP) have hiked the price of cooking gas and kerosene. Even demonetisation has affected people in such a manner that thousands have lost their jobs," she said.

To strengthen its organisation in West Bengal and 'unite' Hindus, RSS and various Sangh Parivar outfits today organised serveral Ram Navami processions across the state which were supported by the BJP. Activists of Sangh parivar carried saffron flags and posters of Lord Ram in the processions shouting 'Jai Sri Ram' slogan.  Posters were seen pledging construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. In the metropolis, 22 Ram Navami processions were organised by the Sangh Parivar members.

Processions were also taken out in Siliguri, Birbhum and some other places in the state. "The response from the common people was very good," said a senior RSS functionary. Police said there was no report of any untoward incident from anywhere in the state regarding Ram Navami processions. "It is a religious festival but through this we plan to unite the Hindus against the fundamentalist forces," a RSS functionary here said.

"Fundamentalist forces have increased across Bengal. Several bordering districts are witnessing huge demographic imbalance due to infiltration," Bidyut Mukherjee, the organisational secretary of RSS, West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, has said. Expressing support to the RSS programme, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh had said: "We fully support such programme to celebrate Ram Navami. It will help people to unite against the anti-national forces and vote bank politics".

RSS had passed a resolution at its recent Coimbatore Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha expressing concern over the 'growing Jehadi activities' and the 'declining' Hindu population in West Bengal. (PTI)