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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Bengal: Modi attacks Mamata for “openly threatening monks”


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of “openly threatening” holy seers and socio-religious organisations, while she reiterated her charge of a Bharat Sevashram Sangh monk inciting riots and engaging in political activities for the BJP.

Banerjee also alleged that the Ramakrishna Mission unit in Asansol was asking people to vote for the BJP.

Addressing an election rally at Jhargram, Modi said “The Chief Minister is openly threatening monks. Ramakrishna Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananada, ISKCON and Bharat Sevashram Sangha is the pride of Bengal. Could anyone even think earlier that such institutions would be openly threatened?’

“Under pressure from hardcore Muslims, and for the sake of votes, the chief minister is openly abusing our monks and institutions. Bengal will give her a just reply for this,” he said.

The Prime Minister said soon after Banerjee issued the threat, “The Ramakrishna Mission ashram in Jalpaiguri of north Bengal was attacked on Sunday. The ashram was vandalised, and some of the monks kidnapped”.

Banerjee, on the other hand, said she had a deep respect for organisations like Ramakrishna Mission, Bharat Svashram Sangha and ISKCON. “I only spoke about one or two people,” she clarified.

“I took the name of one person – Kartik Maharaj (Swami Pradiptananda, the head of Bharat Sevashram Sangha asram in Murshidabad’s Beldanga). He did not allow Trinamool Congress agent to sit in a booth. He was also responsible for the riot in Murshidabad’s Rejinagar two days before the polls.

“That is what I had flagged. He was earlier associated with Adhir (Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury) and is now with the BJP. I have no opposition to his ashram there. But when I asked why that area had no AITC (polling) agents, I was told that Kartik Maharaj said they wouldn’t allow Trinamool’s agents there. They even incited a few people there who are involved in dairy business,” she said.

“He is doing BJP in the name of religion across different areas. I don’t have an issue with him

engaging in political activities for the BJP but she should wear BJP’s party symbol on his chest and not from behind the curtains. This is what I had said – and I do not speak without evidence, ” she claimed.

Meanwhile, Kartik Maharah slapped a defamation notice on Banerjee, asking her to unconditionally apologise within 48 hours for her comments and refrain from repeating them in the future.

“Needless to state my client has no connection with politics and has not stated anything about which you have made false accusations against him…It is stated that you have made misleading and malicious statements which have no basis whatsoever and also attempted to paint a picture of my client being involved in politics, which is far from reality,” the legal notice of Maharaj’s advocate Anish Kumar Mukherjee said. UNI SSP-PC

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