West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has raised a controversy again, this time by calling Ram an imaginary character and describing as “communal forces” those who oppose the Ram Sethu project.
The Supreme Court refused to stay the Calcutta High Court order indicting the state administration for "unjustified" firing on innocent people in Nandigram on March 14. The court fixed December 13 to hear the state government’s special leave petition against the High Court’s order
LK Advani said, "Admission of guilt and apology (by the CM) is not enough and the CPM cadres who indulged in violence should be proceeded against." He said the debate on Nandigram saw the Left, particulary the CPI(M) isolated with even some of its allies saying that they should not be seen as Marxist party’s "partners in sin."
MamataBannerjee met Sonia Gandhi on Friday to seek support for the dismissal of the Buddhadeb government. She also urged Sonia to dispatch a high level UPA team and to intercede with the Manmohan Singh government to send a central team to the area, adding "it will be good if you can go.’’
Addressing litterateurs at a government function here on Thursday, Bhattacharjee said, “I am amazed to see that some communal forces are bent on establishing that Ram built a bridge across the sea. How is that possible? How many engineering colleges did we have those days? Ram is a mythological character and the so-called bridge is a natural phenomenon that geologists have already explained.”
At the function in Kolkata, Bhattacharjee held Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and the BJP responsible for tearing apart the secular fabric of the state. “A large number of Muslim traders, big and small, have fled Gujarat. A similar phenomenon can be seen in Rajasthan. There is an effort to spread the venom of communalism across India.”
In New Delhi, BJP leader L.K. Advani reacted to Bhattacharjee’s statement, saying his questioning the existence of Lord Ram was “highly objectionable” and an offence under the law as it hurt religious sentiments.
State BJP general secretary Rahul Sinha said in Kolkata, “The mental balance of the chief minister is questionable. His statements have no value whatsoever because a few days later he will retract them and apologise.”
“The CPI(M) has been playing a communal game, as it did with the ouster of Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen. The Left has proved that it is the most communal party,” he said.
The BJP leader pointed out that the CPI(M) had once criticised Ram Krishna Paramhansa as ‘an epileptic’, Tagore as a ‘bourgeois poet’ and Subhas Chandra Bose as ‘Japanese premier Tojo’s dog’. “Later, the Left decided to re-evaluate their contributions and accepted them as their own,” Sinha said.