Ram temple inauguration a pre-election gimmick: CM Mamata Banerjee

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticised the BJP government, stating that they emphasised religion before the election but did not contribute financially to West Bengal’s development.


File photo of Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee. PHOTO: THE STATESMAN

January 11, 2024

NEW DELHIChief Minister Mamata Banerjee said today that the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya is an election gimmick, and attacked the BJP for using it as an excuse to divide communities. “A gimmick is being created before the election in the name of the Ram Temple. We cannot divide Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians in Bengal.

No religious division will be allowed here,” Miss Banerjee said while addressing a meeting of the South 24-Parganas district administration at Jaynagar. Miss Banerjee visited Jaynagar to announce development projects estimated to cost around Rs 700 crore for various parts of South 24-Parganas.

Addressing the meeting at Jaynagar Bahedu High School ground, she said that her government could use the state and Central government logos, but no political party’s logo, such as the BJP’s, would be used for any government projects. She criticised the BJP government at the Centre, stating that they emphasised religion before the election but did not contribute financially to West Bengal’s development. “Our hard-earned money from the state is being taken away by them (Centre), but no money is paid back to us.

This party (BJP) came to Bengal before the election with their religious agenda and conducted divisive politics in the name of religion to gain votes. Despite sending 76 Central teams to evaluate projects, the Centre did not release money for the poor,” she said.

Referring to the Bilkis Bano case, Miss Banerjee said that Trinamul Congress MP Mahua Moitra was expelled from Parliament for protesting against the rapists. “Our government does not forgive any rapist. The BJP government tried to release the rapists. This party sponsors such heinous crimes,” she said. Ms Moitra was among those who had filed petitions in the Supreme Court against the Gujarat government’s August 2022 decision granting remission to 11 convicts in the case of the gang-rape of Bilkis Bano.

The Supreme Court on Monday quashed the remission of sentence granted to the convicts. Miss Banerjee also said people’s money and valuables were unsafe due to the ED seizing hard-earned money. “This is a government of Central agencies, but there is not a single recovery of chit fund money, and consequently, the money is not returned to the deprived investors,” she said.

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