Mamata asks people not to join BJP

Says, saffron party is trying to create religious divide
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EOI CORRESPONDENT
Kolkata
25 Apr 2017

While BJP President Amit Shah who is in the state on a three-day visit exhorting people to oust the Trinamool Congress from the state by 2019,  Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today asked the people of the state not to support the BJP, alleging that the saffron outfit "divides people in the name of religion." "We do not believe in the BJP's Hindutva which divides people. They are not Hindus. They defame Hinduism. They create communal tension in the name of religion," she said at a public rally at Coochbehar. "I am a Hindu. I love and respect all religions. We will not tolerate communal flare-up in the name of religion," she said. The chief minister was apparently responding to the BJP's accusation yesterday that her government was preventing Hindus from observing religious festivals like Ram Navami and pursuing politics of minority appeasement. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya had stated that the party would oust the TMC government through people's movement if the latter continued with its minority appeasement policy. Mamata mocked at the Centre saying they were talking about Aadhaar cards for cows. Meanwhile in Kolkata, Trinamool Congress secretary general and minister for education Partha Chatterjee hit back at BJP president Amit Shah's call for driving TMC out of Bengal by 2019 saying that the BJP should first think whether they would be there in Delhi during that time. ``You are talking of 2019. I am asking you, will you be there in Delhi in 2019? The people of India have made a decision, that they will not allow the BJP to be in power at the Centre. I want to warn the BJP, you have targeted Bengal, but we have targeted Delhi,'' Chatterjee today said during a media meet. He also slammed Shah for his statement that central funds were not being utilised by the state government. ``The Central government is not giving our dues for so many schemes. I am asking the BJP president, why are you not giving us money, which is our legitimate demand,'' Chatterjee said. He also said that the BJP had no place in Bengal. ``It was Mamata Banerjee who stood by the people of the state through thick and thin. Who are these BJP leaders who come to the limelight for two-three days and disappear?'' Chatterjee said. At Coochbehar commenting on the Teesta water sharing dispute, Mamata said, "We love Bangladesh. But if we give Teesta water, north Bengal will not get water. We have given an alternative proposal." Talking about the development in Cooch Behar district, the TMC leader said, "We have set up Panchanan Barma University, 10 Krishak Bazars, ITIs, polytechnics and two medical colleges here." Funds were also allotted for Cooch Behar stadium, she added.