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Artists and common people have to unite to resist divisive forces: Mamata Banerjee

The Bengal chief minister also remarked that the saffron colour is more appropriately used by the baul singers of Bengal who preach universal love and brotherhood.

kolkata Updated: Jan 04, 2018 17:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Bengal,Mamata Banerjee,BJP
During her three-day trip to Burdwan and Birbhum districts Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee criticised the saffron camp in all the public meetings. (HT Photo)

Artists and common people should join hands to resist attempts to divide the society, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said in a public meeting in Birbhum district on Thursday.

“We will not allow division between Hindus and Muslims. Nor I will allow division between the poor and rich. I strongly belive that artists do not have any caste or religion. So the artists and common people have to join hands and resist divisive forces,” she remarked at the inauguration of annual Kenduli fair at Bolpur.

Read: Triple talaq bill won’t protect Muslim women: Mamata Banerjee

The fair that is named after 12th century Sanskrit poet Joydeb (1170-1245) is marked by performances by baul singers, minstrels of Bengal who sing and preach universal love.

Though she did not mention the name of any party, it was clear that the Bengal chief minister was targeting the saffron camp.

Without naming BJP, she also ridiculed the ruling party of India about its obsession towards the saffron colour.“Saffron does not suit everybody. Our baul singers wear saffron clothes. The colour suits them, since they sing for unity. Saffron cannot be the colour for divisive forces,” the chief minister said.

Read: Durga puja politics: Mamata Banerjee sends out a clear message to BJP

Mamata Banerjee is on a three-day tour of the districts. Incidentally, the rural polls are just four-five months away. The polls are crucial as they will be a rehearsal for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, for which BJP has selected Bengal as a focus state. The saffron camp’s target: securing 22 out of the 44 Lok Sabha seats in Bengal.

During the speech on Thursday she also brought up the topic of the Union government disallowing the Republic Day tableau. “Our theme was unity in diversity. I brought together all artists for that purpose. But the Union government rejected it at the last moment. Why? This is because they do not believe in unity,” she chief minister said.

Her comments came just 24 hours after she criticised the bill that criminalises instant triple talaq, claiming that the impending legislation was not meant to protect Muslim women and will merely poke the community.

Read: Bengal govt to handover 5 lakh houses to rural poor on January 29: Mamata Banerjee

She also lashed out at attempts to impose food restrictions on people.“Food is a matter of individual choice. One cannot dictate whether someone will eat fish, or meat, or egg. All these attempts have to resisted at any cost. Trinamool Congress, which never believes in creating division among people, can only resist such divisive attempts,” she remarked.

First Published: Jan 04, 2018 17:39 IST