Kolkata: Taking strong objection to “religious” slogan raised when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was invited to speak at Parakram Diwas event at Victoria Memorial here on Saturday, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra alleged that the central government has completely violated “sanctity of democracy”.
She said there cannot be religious chant at an official event and “it is only lumpen, uneducated people like in BJP who can defend this kind of nonsense”.
“This was an official event. An official event is different from a religious event. You want to have a ‘hawan’ in your home, you have the freedom to do as you like. But this government has completely violated all sanctity of democracy. Religion does not equal government. At an official event, you can’t have a religious chant. As long as it is secular democracy, you can’t do that,” she said.
“If you want to change the constitution, please go ahead and do it, and then do what you like. But till that time you can’t have a religious chant at an official event. And it is only lumpen, uneducated people like in BJP who can defend this kind of nonsense,” she added.
The West Bengal Chief Minister did not deliver her speech “in protest” during the event at Victoria Memorial to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose after ‘Jai Shree Ram’ slogans were raised when she was invited to speak.
The Chief Minister said “government programme should have some dignity” and it “is not fair to insult somebody whom you have invited”.
The event was presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In her brief remarks, a visibly upset Mamata Banerjee said it was a government programme and not that of a political party.
The Trinamool Congress leader also said that she was grateful to the Prime Minister and Cultural Ministry for organising the event at Kolkata.
Netaji’s birth anniversary is being observed as Parakram Diwas in the country.