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Want a united India & Bengal: CM at X-Mas fest

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday criticised the Centre for practicing 'politics of hatred' and diving people along the religious lines across the country.

While addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Kolkata Christmas festival at Allen Park, Banerjee said that she would not bow down to the 'politics of hatred' and continue to uphold the democratic structure of the country and the nation's spirit of unity. She also blamed the Narendra Modi government for dividing people along religious lines in order to suit their political narrative.

Without taking anybody's name, Banerjee said: "The whole world is like a family. Why are they trying to practice the divide and rule policy in the country? Why are they triggering violence and politics of hatred? I will not, however, bow down to any such attempt."

"Those who believe in hatred politics will, eventually, be ousted by the people of the country. We will stay because we propagate the spirit of unity. We want a united India and a united Bengal too. We are proud to say that India is our motherland. You (Centre) cannot curb the democratic rights of the people. We must move towards light and not to the darkness" Banerjee said apparently criticising the BJP led government at the Centre.

The Chief Minister also criticised the Centre's move to discontinue the reservation for the Anglo-Indian community in the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies. A Bill was tabled in Parliament last week in this regard.

"You (Centre) cannot keep various communities out of our social fabric in this manner. Earlier, people used to enjoy a holiday on December 25, the birthday of Jesus Christ. Now, the Centre has withdrawn the status of holiday on December 25," she told the gathering at the Allen Park.

"We believe that all festivals are our festivals. I greet people from all community ahead of Christmas. Every year we celebrate Christmas. I also attend the midnight prayer at church. We must move towards light, not to darkness," Banerjee said.

During the programme, Banerjee also inaugurated a linear accelerator (LINAC) device at the radiology unit at RG Kar Medical College and Hospital and also a 5-bedded dialysis unit at the Jalpaiguri Superspecialty Hospital.

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