KOLKATA: Trinamool Congress, whose supremo Mamata Banerjee asserted that she didn’t require a certificate from BJP for being a Hindu, would be organising a massive ‘Brahmin Sammelan’ in Birbhum district of West Bengal on January 8. Though common in states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, this would be one of the first Brahmin conferences in West Bengal.
“About 15,000 Brahmins of Birbhum district would gather and conduct pujas on Januray 8. Each Brahmin would be given a copy of Gita, a ‘namaboli’ (religious shawl with ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’ inscribed on it) and also a photograph of Ramakrishna Paramhansa and Saradha Maa,” said Trinamool Congress Birbhum district president and party strongman Anubrata Mondal, who regularly and openly urges his followers to break the legs and burn the houses of BJP cadres.
On the other hand, state BJP has alleged that the ruling party was trying to woo Hindu voters in the wake up to the crucial 2018 panchayat elections. “Mamata Banerjee has taken minority appeasement to such levels that they are wary of losing out the votes of the majority Hindus. In recent times, she has even asserted herself as a ‘true Hindu’ and even chanted Hindu mantras full of mistakes on the stage,” said BJP national secretary and former state BJP president Rahul Sinha.
However, ‘Brahmin Sammelan’ prime organiser Anubrata Mondal refuted allegations of ‘Hindu appeasement’ and said that the party had earlier even conducted a conference of the Muslim clergy. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had recently urged the Dalits, Muslims and tribals of the state to unite to defeat BJP in the panchayat elections. She even formed the country’s first Scheduled Caste Advisory Board and promised to form an OBC Advisory Board.
While BJP won both the Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, it has gradually increased its vote share in every election held in West Bengal in the past two years. While the saffron party had replaced CPM as the runners-up by gaining 30 per cent of polled votes in Kanthi Dakshin by-election in April this year, the party improved its vote share by more than three times at the recently concluded Sabang by-election.