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To battle saffron wave in Bengal, Trinamool to take out communal harmony rallies

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 17 April 2017, 20:36 IST
(File photo)

Confronted by a sudden spurt in religious processions being held by various organisations affiliated with the Sangh in West Bengal on Ram Navami, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) has decided to organise harmony rallies in each district.

The message is simple: AITC is a firm believer in communal harmony and will stand against religious intolerance.

To counter the BJP’s strategy where the party is attempting to polarise the state on religious grounds, the AITC says that it will urge people not to be misguided by how a certain section of people have misinterpreted religion. Bengal, AITC leaders say, has always been very tolerant towards people of different faiths and certain elements are now attempting to change that.

State parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee said, “The rallies will help people to get rid of their misconceptions. Moreover, I feel it will take time for BJP to conquer Bengal. Struggle is required to conquer Bengal and BJP is far behind. By fanning religious intolerance, BJP cannot conquer Bengal.”

AITC has sent invites to activists & intellectuals to help highlight polarisation in the state

“We already organised a peace communal harmony rally at Chinsurah in Hooghly last week which was successful and have decided to organise more such rallies in every block of the state,” a senior AITC member said. MP Ratna De Nag led the rally.

The party has also sent out invites to social activists, educationists and other intellectuals, urging them to join the rallies to help highlight the dangers of religious polarisation.

However, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will not be attending she will be visiting North Bengal ahead of the municipal elections for seven municipalities on 14 May.

Incidentally, BJP national president Amit Shah will be visiting North Bengal next week.

"Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is worried now that BJP has become the principal Opposition in the state. That is why they are trying to organise such rallies to woo the masses. We know people are frustrated with the AITC government and are confident that we will increase our vote share in Bengal in the next election,” BJP state president Dilip Ghosh says.

First published: 17 April 2017, 20:36 IST