Not RK Mission or Bharat Sevashram, Mamata says she criticised monks who indulged in politics

Banerjee said that she saved Swami Vivekananda's house in Kolkata from getting sold off by getting the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to acquire it.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee interacts with supporters during a rally for Lok Sabha elections, in Medinipur.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC Supremo Mamata Banerjee interacts with supporters during a rally for Lok Sabha elections, in Medinipur.Photo | PTI

ONDA/ PANSKURA: Praising the Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangha for their philanthropic work, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she was not against any institution but criticised one or two persons for indulging in political activities despite being monks.

Banerjee had on Saturday alleged that some monks of the two monastic orders were working "under instructions of the BJP".

The statement drew sharp criticism from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who alleged that she was "under pressure from Muslim extremists" and was threatening these socio-religious organisations to "appease" the TMC's vote bank.

Addressing an election rally in Bankura's Onda, Banerjee said, "I am not against Ramakrishna Mission, why should I be against an institution or insult it?" "I have spoken about one or two persons," she added.

The chief minister also praised Bharat Sevashram Sangha, saying that it works for the people and that they also love her.

"I had spoken about Kartik Maharaj, he did not allow Trinamool Congress agent to sit (at a polling booth) in Rejinagar," Banerjee said.

Claiming that the Bharat Sevashram Sangha monk from Murshidabad district was working for the BJP, she accused him of instigating people when clashes between two groups happened at Rejinagar a few weeks ago.

"If he wants to do BJP, he can, but should do it wearing its badge," she said, alleging that he was earlier aligned with Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

Recounting her gestures for the Ramakrishna Mission in the past, Banerjee said that she saved Swami Vivekananda's house in Kolkata from getting sold off by getting the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to acquire it.

Banerjee said that the house where Sister Nivedita stayed in Darjeeling was also saved by her, apart from constructing a skywalk to Dakshineswar temple from the metro railway station there.

She claimed that West Bengal would "give the lead" to the INDIA alliance and would "throw out" the BJP from Delhi.

Banerjee was campaigning for TMC's Bishnupur candidate Sujata Mandal and Bankura nominee Arup Chakraborty.

Addressing another rally in Panskura for the party's Ghatal candidate Dev, she said that the maximum number of seats to the Trinamool Congress would ensure that it can "totally help" the opposition INDIA alliance when it forms government at the Centre.

"This is Delhi's vote, if we can win every seat with your votes, we can totally help the government which will be formed by the INDIA alliance," Banerjee said.

Claiming that PM Modi's guarantees were untrue, Banerjee said, "Have you got the Rs 15 lakh promised in your accounts? There is no relation between when they say and what they do."

"I have 10 lakh jobs ready," she said, accusing opposition parties of stalling appointments.

Banerjee asserted that the reservations of tribals and scheduled castes cannot be taken away by anyone as it is a constitutional guarantee.

She claimed that the TMC government has fulfilled all its promises.

Banerjee reiterated her accusation that the BJP hatched a conspiracy with regard to Sandeshkhali, where allegations of sexual atrocities and land grabs against local TMC leaders led to protests.

Reminiscing the days of anti-land acquisition agitation in Nandigram in 2007, Banerjee said she will remain ever thankful to the then governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi for his uprightness and help.

"He (Gandhi) is a very outstanding person, but I will not speak of the present governor," she said while taking a dig at incumbent CV Ananda Bose without taking his name.

Banerjee accused the CPI(M) of having indulged in atrocities, during her days in opposition, on people of the then undivided district of Medinipur.

Later, she held a roadshow in Medinipur town in support of party candidate June Malia.

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