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Mamata Banerjee slams BJP for ‘armed’ rallies

Although Banerjee did not name anyone, her target appeared to be Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh who walked with a sword in a procession at Kharagpur in Midnapore from where he is contesting.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Apr 13, 2019 22:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
According to Election Commission rules, civilians cannot carry weapons once the polls have been notified.
According to Election Commission rules, civilians cannot carry weapons once the polls have been notified.(PTI)
         

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee appeared to target Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders on Saturday for displaying weapons during Ram Navami rallies and allegedly using religion to mislead the people.

Campaigning in Darjeeling for Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidate Amar Singh Rai, she claimed, “The BJP is misleading the people in the name of religion. Ahead of elections, they are using it as a tool to divide the masses in Bengal... “They are taking out rallies with swords and mace. Whose throat do you want to slit with swords? Whose head do you want to smash with the mace?”

Although Banerjee did not name anyone, her target appeared to be Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh who walked with a sword in a procession at Kharagpur in Midnapore from where he is contesting. “If weapons cause violence, our armed forces should be dis-armed as well. Weapons are meant to protect our mothers and sisters. All Hindu gods carry weapons.”

According to Election Commission rules, civilians cannot carry weapons once the polls have been notified.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, has planned as many as 700 processions across West Bengal to celebrate Ram’s birthday.

TMC councillors Indrajit Ghosh and Subrata Mukherjee led processions at Uttarpara in Hooghly but without weapons. In East Midnapore district, Tamluk TMC candidate Dibyendu Adhikari took part in puja. “Ram does not belong to BJP alone,” he said. Political commentator Suvashsis Moitra said, “TMC has started celebrating Ram Navami essentially to send a message to voters that BJP is not the sole custodian of Hinduism.”

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Apr 13, 2019 22:55 IST

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