Bengal: TMC protests against BJP ‘cleansing’ Ambedkar statue on assembly premises

TMC had on Friday termed the cleansing of Ambedkar's statue with 'gangajal' by BJP as an 'insult to tribal, OBC and women MLAs' of the state's ruling party.

Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress on Saturday held demonstrations across West Bengal to protest against the BJP’s act to “cleanse” BR Ambedkar’s statue with water of the Ganga river on the state assembly premises a day before.

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Protests were staged in Kolkata, Jhargram town, Siliguri and other places by the TMC and its various arms, where leaders of the ruling party alleged that the BJP is practising “divisive politics” and “instilling fear among people belonging to minorities, Dalits and backward classes” in the country.

The TMC had on Friday termed the cleansing of Ambedkar’s statue with ‘gangajal’ by BJP as an “insult to tribal, OBC and women MLAs” of the state’s ruling party.

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“We strongly condemn the move of BJP legislators in the West Bengal assembly. They have insulted representatives of tribal communities by referring to them as impure with their so-called purification drive. It is a blot in the chequered history of the assembly,” state minister and local MLA Birbaha Hansda said at a protest rally at Jhargram in the Jangolmahal belt with a sizeable tribal population.

There would be bigger agitations by tribals against the “insult” to their representatives in future, she said.

TMC MP Mala Roy was among those present at a demonstration in Kolkata where the posters read “Shame to BJP for insulting the tribal brothers and sisters of Bengal in the state assembly compound”.

In the Darjeeling rally, TMC leaders accused the BJP of indulging in the “politics of religion and making people in minority and backward communities insecure by their actions”.

BJP MLAs on Friday washed the statue of BR Ambedkar on the state assembly premises with ‘gangajal’ to “purify” it after TMC legislators led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee staged a demonstration there, demanding central funds for the state.

Over 30 BJP legislators, including leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari, took turns in pouring water from the Ganga on the statue, and the spot where the TMC MLAs demonstrated in the previous two days.

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