Although chief minister Mamata Banerjee remained conspicuous by her absence at the Sampriti rally organised by the Trinamool Congress on Sunday, her party men and religious leaders in the state targeted the BJP from the platform.
The rally was organised to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition, following which there was communal violence in parts of Kolkata.
On Sunday, around 5,000 people gathered in front of the Gandhi statue on Mayo Road expecting Mamata Banerjee to deliver a speech just ahead of the assembly polls in Bengal. But the chief minister did not turn up.
With Mamata absent, Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Lok Sabha MP, and senior party leader delivered his speech on behalf of the Trinamool.
“On December 1992, when the country was witnessing communal tension, only two women saved Kolkata from communal violence. One is Mother Teresa and the other is Mamata Banerjee. I have seen Mamata closely and she personally visited communally-sensitive areas to tell people not to resort to violence,” said Bandyopadhyay.
Slamming the BJP, the MP said, “I do agree that there was a tremendous Modi wave across the country during the Lok Sabha polls in 2014. But within one-and-half years, Modi is quickly losing his popularity and the recent state polls in Bihar bear testimony to the fact. People in India do not tolerate such politics of intolerance.”
“If a church or a temple or a mosque in the country falls, the country itself will fall. A few political parties are trying to do exactly this throughout the country. Even in Bengal, they want to divide people in the name of religion. We should resist the policies of such parties,” said Noor- ur Rahman Barkati, the Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan mosque in the city.
Barkati was present at the Mayo Road meet in Kolkata along with religious leaders from Christain, Jain and Buddhist communities in the city to take part in Trinamool Congress Sampriti rally.
“India is a secular state and we all respect all religions of this secular country. But no leader in the country exce pt Mamata is secular. Therefore, on this historical importance day, I would request all to vote in favour of Mamata in the assembly polls of 2016. In this way, we can respect secularism of the country,” added Barkati.