The West Bengal police block Durga Mandir in Kaliachak on the eve of Muharram which raises criticism from the BJP.
Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal and the leader of the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) is accused of putting down Hindus as second-class citizens by placing barriers around the Durga Mandir on the eve of Muharram.
Amit Malviya from the BJP tweeted, “West Bengal police blocks and barricades Durga Mandir in Kaliachak on the eve of Muharram. This is Mamata Bannerjee’s brand of secularism, which demeans and denigrates Hindus, who have been reduced to second grade citizens under her administration. It also shows her inability to handle law and order. Such partisan approach of the Chief Minister, shreds social cohesiveness and widens fault lines. Her politics thrives on it.” (sic)
The Chief Minister of West Bengal and the leader of the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) party, has been known for advocating for the rights and interests of minority communities in the state. Throughout her political career, she has often voiced her support for minority rights and welfare.
Mamata Banerjee’s stance on protecting minorities has been a key aspect of her party’s platform, and she has taken various measures to address the concerns of minority communities in West Bengal. These measures have included initiatives related to education, employment, and social welfare for minority groups.
On Tuesday during a speech, Mamata Banerjee reaffirmed her commitment to stand by religious, linguistic, and ethnic minorities while addressing a public meeting in Kranti, Jalpaiguri district, as part of her efforts to woo voters from diverse communities in north Bengal, where identity politics significantly influences electoral outcomes.
She assured the minorities that she would protect their rights and safety, and her support extended to all residents of the state, including the Rajbanshis, Kamtapuri people, and others. Mamata Banerjee emphasized her dedication to safeguarding the well-being of the people and their communities.
During her speech, the fact that she mentioned Muslims at the beginning holds significance, given their substantial electoral presence of at least 28 percent in the state. Observers have raised questions about the Trinamool Congress’s ability to retain its support among the minority community, particularly with the rise of the Indian Secular Front (ISF) as a potent political force in parts of South Bengal.
In her bid to court Muslim voters, Mamata Banerjee indirectly targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, criticizing his government and suggesting that the BJP would face electoral defeat in the upcoming general elections.
She rejected the BJP’s claim of anti-incumbency against Trinamul and expressed confidence that her party had substantial support across Bengal, ensuring victory in all three tiers of the panchayat system. Mamata highlighted her government’s achievements in north Bengal, including land rights distribution and free housing for tea garden workers, promoting tourism in tea plantations, and establishing the Sadri language academy.
North Bengal’s politics have historically been influenced by identity-based considerations, with significant populations of Muslims, Rajbanshis, Gorkhas, and Adivasis. Mamata Banerjee’s approach aims to gain the support of all communities while emphasizing secularism and development to counter the strategies of other parties that have played identity politics in the region.
She also assured the public that her government would take action against bribery and encouraged people to report any incidents to her helpline.
Following the public meeting, Mamata met with some Trinamool leaders from north Bengal and urged them to prepare for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in the following year before departing for Bagdogra.
Mamata Banerjee is taking precautions after the troubles stirring during Ram Navami and also the recent massacre witnessed in Manipur. She also recently said that she had inputs from sources that the BJP is attempting to employ tactics similar to those used in Manipur to divide Bengal for their advantage in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Better than crying later after the trouble, she is stepping up and enforcing protective barriers for the people.