'Only Trinamool can ensure communal harmony in state'
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress (TMC) chairperson Mamata Banerjee on Monday said though many blame her for appeasing Muslims, but it is for her that all communities live peacefully in the state.
Accusing the BJP of playing caste-based politics, Banerjee while addressing a rally in Bhangar constituency on Monday urged people to vote for her party to maintain communal harmony in the state.
"Who has triggered danga (riots) in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi and Rajasthan? It is BJP. That is why you should not vote for BJP. Every state has implemented NPR, expect for Bengal. I have stopped NPR in Bengal. Due to NPR, names of 14 lakh Bengalis have been excluded in Assam," said Banerjee, addressing the crowd at Khorambhah playground in Bhangar constituency, which consists of 33 per cent Muslim population, 23 per cent SC population and six per cent Adivasis.
Not naming Indian Secular Front's (ISF) founder Furfura Sharif's pirzada Abbas Siddique—who had formed alliance with Left and Congress to contest Bengal Assembly Election 2021— Banerjee said: "We have respect for Furfura Sharif peerzada. Abbas's uncle pirzada Toha Siddique supports TMC. He (Abbas) is fighting the election to divert minority votes to BJP."
She reiterated that being a Hindu, she performs all rituals but also utters 'La Ila Ha Illah Muhamadur Rasool Allah (meaning there is absolutely no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and I bear witness that prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam is the Messenger of Allah)' everyday because her father and mother had always preached her to respect all the religions.
Banerjee highlighted that several infrastructure (road and bridge constructions) development had taken place in Bhangar over the past 10 years. She vowed that more English medium schools would be set up at Bhangar. "Land for establishing a hospital has already been allotted. The TMC government is supplying arsenic-free water to 60 per cent houses in Bhangar. The work of supplying arsenic-free water has already started in the remaining 40 per cent houses in Bhangar. Over 2.5 lakh youths have got jobs in Bantalla. Another 2.5 lakh people will get jobs in Bantalla. Hospital will be set up in Bhangar," she said.
In the 2016 state Assembly election, the TMC had reclaimed Bhangar by fielding Abdur Rezzak Mollah, a veteran Left Front minister who joined the TMC after being expelled from the CPI (M) in 2014. He had earlier won from Bhangar in 1972, before winning from Canning East from 1977 to 2011 on a trot.
TMC has fielded Md Rezaul Karim from Bhangar constituency for the ongoing election. The Left-Congress-Indian Secular Front's (ISF) Samyukta Morcha candidate is Nausad Siddiqi, Abbas's brother and the chairman of ISF. The BJP has fielded Soumi Hati, wife of local BJP leader Shanti Hati.