BJP President Amit Shah was in Kolkata on Saturday, where he addressed a crowd and told them how the state government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had ruined Bengal.
Addressing them, Shah told the crowd that Trinamool’s coalition with Congress couldn’t work if Bengal wished to travel in the direction of development. He said, “Only the BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi was capable of carrying out the development works in Bengal.”
Shah then quickly moved on to talk out the importance of Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja for Bengalis in the state. He said, “And with development, we also need to ensure equal treatment with everyone. You tell me, during Durga Puja, they don’t allow the immersion of Mother Durga’s idol. Is it fair? They stopped Saraswati Puja in schools. Should this have happened?”
He said that if the BJP came to power, ‘Durga’s idol will be immersed with full force’ and schools will be allowed to observe Saraswati Puja.’
Shah was referring to the last year’s controversy over the postponement of the immersion of Durga’s idol to maintain law and order in view of the Muharram procession, which clashed with the date of immersion.
Even on Saraswati Puja being banned in Bengal schools, Shah was not being truthful as Saraswati Puja has traditionally been observed without any problem in schools across the state. Last year, the issue had stoked up controversy in one school in view of the communal tension in Dhulagarh.
The issue of Saraswati Puja had become controversial at Tehatta high school after a group of students objected because the school had refused to allow a function on the Prophet’s birthday, known as Nabi Diwas.
There was another controversy related to Saraswati Puja this year after the state government’s list of holidays did not include this festival. However, this was later included in the government’s list of holidays.
Reacting sharply, the Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien said that his party will take legal action against Shah if he did not apologise within 72 hours for his ‘blatant lying.’ He told ANI, “Amit Shah’s meeting was a flop show, he has insulted Bengal today. He doesn’t understand the culture of Bengal and even insulted it with his blatant lies. If he doesn’t apologise within the next 72 hours we will take legal action against him.”
Earlier on Saturday, Shah was shown black flags by a group of protesters after he arrived in the city to address his scheduled rally.