Kolkata: Taking a swipe at the BJP, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged Gangasagar pilgrims not to believe whatever the saffron brigade was saying in order to ensure a safe and secured pilgrimage.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Vivek Chetna Utsav that was held at Babughat where hundreds of pilgrims have gathered to march ahead towards Gangasagar to take the holy dip, the Chief Minister said: "Gangasagar Mela is such a major event in which around 30 lakh people from different parts of the country visit and the administration has to be vigilant round-the-clock to ensure safe and secured journey of the devotees. Right at this time, they are planning to take out a rath… Actually, they have no work apart from creating trouble and to do politics in everything."
She further said: "When so many people from so many states including Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand are here, what is the need to organise another programme and create a divide if you have love for the Hindu religion." Banerjee also raised the question adding that there are some who want to create problems intentionally as they do not want any good to take place.
"In case anything odd takes place at the Gangasagar Mela, those who are conspiring will be held responsible," she maintained.
In the same breath, she urged the pilgrims from other states to consider Bengal as their home and let the administration know if they are facing any problem instead of listening to those who would try to create problems.
"We don't allow any big programme at the time of Gangasagar as we need to maintain a proper vigil to ensure safety and security of around 30 lakh people. I would request all to not do anything that would lead to an atmosphere of discord," Banerjee said adding that it is the first priority to give protection to the lakhs of pilgrims visiting the event.
Drawing a relevance to matches at Eden Gardens, she said since there cannot be 10 matches taking place at the ground, similarly, "No major event can be held during Gangasagar Mela." She further added that there was nothing in Sagar Island earlier. "We went to the place 10 days ago and found massive development including setting up of shelters for the pilgrims, proper illumination, good roads, etc."
She also slammed the Centre for not extending any financial support unlike the Kumbha Mela for organising such a big fair. Banerjee said: "We are giving our best in making better arrangements for the pilgrims without anyone's support. The Centre didn't give us anything. It is the state government that undertook all the development work in Sagar Island."