Kolkata: The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, which hit the headlines earlier this month for organising a Durga Puja in Kolkata that had the idol of Mahishasur resembling Mahatma Gandhi, announced that it will contest next year’s panchayat elections in West Bengal.
The outfit which was relatively unknown in the contemporary political landscape of West Bengal also tried to strike another controversy on Friday by demanding that the photo of Gandhi on currency notes should be replaced with that of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
“We think Netaji’s contribution to the country’s freedom struggle was no less than that of Mahatma Gandhi. So the best way to honor India’s greatest freedom fighter Netaji is to have his picture on currency notes. Gandhi’s photo should be replaced with that of Netaji,” its state working president Chandrachur Goswami said at a press conference.
Speaking on the outfit’s plan in the state, Goswami said it will contest the next year’s panchayat polls.
“Neither the TMC nor the BJP has been able to protect the rights of Hindu Bengalis. We will fight to protect their rights. We also don’t support the demand for the division of Bengal by certain BJP leaders. We want to work towards strengthening the state,” he said.
Claiming that his organisation is growing in every district of the state, Goswami said, “We will contest the panchayat polls and are confident of astounding results.”
Goswami, however, reiterated that the depiction of Gandhi as Mahishasur was “unintentional” and “coincidental”.
As photos of the Mahishasura idol, which had a bald head, round glasses, and was dressed in a white dhoti with a stick in its hand, went viral on social media, the outfit came under heavy fire from all quarters. The look of the idol at the modest pandal near the Ruby Crossing was changed after prodding from the police.
“We had no intention to portray Gandhi as Mahishasur. It was unintentional. Those trying to create a controversy on the issue should refrain from doing it,” Goswami sai