BJP instigated violence during Ram Navami celebrations in Bengal: Mamata

Blast occurred near a procession in Murshidabad's Shaktipur area on Wednesday, injuring a woman, police said.

Hariharpara: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday accused the BJP of inciting violence during Ram Navami celebrations in the state and said the saffron camp only believes in bloodshed and violence to serve its political interests.

Addressing a rally at Hariharpara in minority-dominated Murshidabad district, Banerjee said the 2024 Lok Sabha polls are nothing less than a “second battle for the country’s independence,” as BJP’s return to power for the third consecutive term would endanger the existence of the constitution and democracy.

At a second rally in Jangipur, the TMC supremo said the Election Commission should not function as a “BJP commission.”

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She accused the EC of succumbing to the saffron party’s pressure of “solely deploying central forces and keeping out the state forces in Cooch Behar to serve the interest of party candidate and Union minister Nisith Pramanik.”

“I love central forces. But I oppose using them as BJP members. I want to ask the EC why central forces are being used in Cooch Behar in such a way? How do you expect a free and fair election in such a situation? It is a matter of shame that the EC has become a BJP commission,” she said.

“Pramanik is giving instructions that central forces will conduct the elections. Is this not unethical,” she said.

“BJP believes in bulldozing the opposition to impose itself. They want to divide people. They believe in putting humanity on sale. BJP wants to introduce Unform Civil Code. If that happens, people’s right to practice their own religion, culture and rituals will be taken away,” she said.

Accusing the BJP of betraying minorities and dalits, she said the saffron party deviated from the values and principles espoused by Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Mahama Gandhi and Abul Kalam Azad.

At Hariharpara, she claimed that Ram Navami violence in Murshidabad district was “pre-planned” and accused the saffron party of orchestrating it ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

A blast occurred near a procession in Murshidabad’s Shaktipur area on Wednesday, injuring a woman, police said.

In Rejinagar area of the district, the BJP alleged that a Ram Navami procession was pelted with stones.

“The BJP only believes in bloodshed and violence to serve its political purpose. The BJP is stoking violence in the state. Why did BJP leaders conduct processions with weapons and flout court orders? Who told them to conduct rallies with weapons? Who permitted them?” Banerjee said.

The Chief Minister said 19 people have been injured in the violence during the Ram Navami celebrations.

Banerjee accused the BJP of missing the central forces to loot votes and urged the EC to look into it.

“The BJP is misusing central forces to loot votes. If the BJP returns to power for the third consecutive time, the constitution of India will cease to exist, democracy will be finished. This election is nothing less than a second war of independence,” she said.

She said the state will send the money for building houses for the poor and homeless after the polls are over and 11 lakh will get the first installment of amount from the end of this year.

Rs 1.2 lakh will be given to everyone under the state housing project in the wake of the Centre squeezing the allocation and those affected by recent storm in north Bengal will be among those in first priority, she added.

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