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Tagore's Bengal would not allow hate politics to overpower secularism: CM Mamata

Activists of Trinamool Congress (TMC) wear pictures of Indian Nobel-laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore  (AFP)Premium
Activists of Trinamool Congress (TMC) wear pictures of Indian Nobel-laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore (AFP)

  • The CM claimed that conspiracies were being hatched to destroy the state's inclusive culture
  • Branding Visva-Bharati Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty as a 'BJP man', the CM claimed that he is planning to destroy the rich heritage of the hallowed institution

Iterating that the BJP is a "party of outsiders", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday asserted that the land of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore would never allow hate politics to triumph over secularism.

Banerjee, during a rally in Bolpur, claimed that conspiracies were being hatched to destroy the state's inclusive culture and cautioned people against divisive politics.

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"Stop this politics of violence... this divisive politics. Please steer clear of outsiders in your area, inform the local police if necessary. If some goons from outside come to our state to terrorise locals, all of you should put up a united fight against them," she said.

Branding Visva-Bharati Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty as a "BJP man", the CM claimed that he is planning to destroy the rich heritage of the hallowed institution by "importing divisive and communal politics inside its campus".

"Those who do not respect Mahatma Gandhi and other icons of the country are now talking of building 'Sonar Bangla' (Golden Bengal).

"Rabindranath Tagore has created 'Sonar Bangla' several decades ago, all we need to do is to protect the place from the communal onslaught of the BJP," Banerjee said during her address, following a four-kilometre roadshow here.

The feisty TMC boss said that "attempts to destroy Tagore's cultural abode (Visva-Bharati) have to be resisted".

"I feel bad when I see efforts are on to pursue communal politics at Visva-Bharati. The VC there is a BJP man, he is trying to tarnish this institution's heritage by practising communal politics," the chief minister claimed.

Chakraborty recently drew the ire of the state government after reports in the media claimed that he has accused Nobel laureate Amartya Sen of occupying varsity land illegally.

Talking about the recent defections from the TMC, Banerjee said saffron camp might have "bought a few MLAs", but it can never buy her party.

Senior TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari, along with five party MLAs and another MP, joined the BJP on December 19, during Union Home Minister Amit Shah's rally at Medinipur.

Describing Shah's recent visit to a folk singer's residence here for lunch on December 20 as nothing short of "show off", Banerjee claimed that the food items served to the BJP leader were cooked at five-star hotels.

Reacting to Banerjee's comments, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the TMC supremo is wary of the saffron party's rise in Bengal.

"What makes her think that only the TMC has the right to talk about Rabindranath Tagore? The TMC government has failed miserably on all fronts in the last ten years, and now she is trying to brand us as outsiders.

"The days of the TMC dispensation are numbered in Bengal, and I think she has sensed it. The TMC is wary of the BJP's rise in Bengal," he said.

Elections to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly are due in April-May.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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