Mamata slams Centre over 'partiality' in help to tackle violence
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday slammed the central government and accused it of partiality in extending help to BJP and non-BJP ruled states in handling unrest.
Referring to the violence and resultant deaths in Haryana's Panchkula following the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on August 25, Banerjee alleged: "The BJP is trying to start a riot here (West Bengal) in the name of Ram and Rahim. They always try to create a divide between the Hindus and Muslims. But in Panchkula, over 30 people were killed and so many others injured while trying to stop one 'Ram Rahim'."
Addressing a rally organised by Trinamool Congress' students wing on its foundation day, she said the Centre was "partial" to Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states with regard to deployment of central forces in strife-torn areas of the country.
"During unrest in Darjeeling, we got only four Army battalions to tackle the situation, that too after court order. The Haryana government got 40 battalions to handle ruckus. There is one arrangement for BJP-ruled states and another for non-BJP governments. Is this how the government should be run?" Banerjee asked.
In a veiled attack, Banerjee accused the BJP of stoking violence in the name of religion over Durga Puja immersions for vested political interests.
With Muharram (October 1) slated to be observed a day after Dussehra or Bijoya Dashami (September 30), the administration had fixed September 30, as also October 2-4, for immersion of idols of Durga and her children.
"Durga Puja is our regional festival. Can we immerse the idols on Ekadashi? In our culture, immersion never happens on Ekadashi (October 1). Those who don't know are spreading rumours. Even fools know there is no immersion on Ekadashi."
"If we have four days to immerse the idols and they have one day (those observing Muharram) for (tazia) immersion then what is the problem?" the Chief Minister said.
Banerjee stressed on giving each community its due importance.
"If Ganesh Chaturthi 'visarjan' (immersion) and Muharram fall on the same day, would they be able to handle it? Our focus is the common man. If there is some festival of the Punjabis... don't we have to give it due importance? If the Christians have some event, can I do anything else on Christmas? No, I cannot."
"They (the BJP) could not handle the situation in Panchkula... first manage Panchkula... then look at Bengal. First handle Uttar Pradesh, then look at Bengal... first handle Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, and then look at Bengal," she said.
Banerjee said the youth and students are the future of the country and they have to lead the fight for change at the Centre in the 2019 general elections. She also advised them to be active on social media to counter the "fake narrative" of the BJP.