‘BJP planning communal disturbance in Nandigram’: Mamata Banerjee | Kolkata - Hindustan Times
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‘BJP planning communal disturbance in Nandigram’: Mamata Banerjee

Mar 29, 2021 11:44 PM IST

Banerjee also alleged that Adhikari was behind the attack on her at Nandigram on March 10 when she sustained an injury on her left ankle.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday alleged for the first time that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has plans to create communal tension in East Midnapore district’s Nandigram assembly constituency where she is contesting against her former cabinet colleague Suvendu Adhikari.

File photo: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during election campaign in Nandigram. (PTI)
File photo: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during election campaign in Nandigram. (PTI)

Addressing a rally at Nandigram’s Amdabad area on Monday evening, Banerjee, who appeared at three rallies and a roadshow in her wheelchair during the day, said, “I have been observing since yesterday that four or five associates of the gaddar (traitor) are sitting outside local temples. Their plan is to drop animal meat inside the temples and blame the Muslims. That would lead to a fight between Hindus and Muslims. Protect these places. Be on your guard. I am asking my Muslim brothers and sisters not to fall for any provocation.”

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Amdabad, where Banerjee addressed the audience, has a village named Kamalpur where the Muslims are in majority. Kamalpur is located between Hindu-dominated villages.

Also read: ‘TMC Pvt Ltd’ - Suvendu Adhikari slams Mamata, her nephew Abhishek in Nandigram

In all her speeches during the hectic day-long campaign, Banerjee referred to Adhikari as “gaddar” (traitor) while her bete noire branded her as “begum” (Muslim empress) and said voting in her favour would lead to the creation of “a mini Pakistan.”

With about 27 per cent of the 2,57,299 Nandigram voters being Muslims, religion is being seen by the BJP as a deciding factor in the elections to be held in the second phase on April 1. The assembly segment’s total population is 3,56,382.

“Our Hindu brothers and sisters must remember that I am a Hindu too. If you have faith (in me) do not let riots take place. This place has never seen riots,” said Banerjee who also recited some Sanskrit hymns dedicated to Hindu deities.

As Banerjee and Adhikari addressed back-to-back rallies there was tension between TMC and BJP workers in some areas. At one of these locations, TMC workers surrounded Adhikari’s car and central armed police personnel had to chase them away.

On Monday, Banerjee also alleged that Adhikari was behind the attack on her at Nandigram on March 10 when she sustained an injury on her left ankle. The Election Commission of India (ECI) however conducted a probe and declared that it was an accident. Adhikari, on Monday, reiterated that the chief minister was completely fit and the episode was a “drama.”

Reacting to Banerjee’s allegation that the BJP was planning to create communal tension in Nandigram, Bengal BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu said, “Whenever the chief minister runs out of excuses and issues, she first projects herself as a victim of political violence and then plays the communal card. She is polarizing the 27 per cent Muslim voters in Nandigram. This proves her desperation.”

Chairman of the West Bengal Imams Association, Muhammad Yahiya told HT that he formally warned clerics of all mosques more than two weeks ago against possible efforts to carry out sacrilegious acts at places of worship.

“We feared long ago that communal tension might grow during the Bengal polls. We must stop fundamentalist forces. It is time for people from all religions to stay united,” Yahiya said.

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