Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is facing intense Opposition attack for “praising” the RSS and saying that all are not bad in the Sangh Pariwar and a section of right-wing organisation detested the policies followed by the BJP.
Ever since her praise for the RSS, top Opposition parties – Congress, AIMIM, BJP and the Left – had been attacking her and questioning her secular credentials. In a scathing attack on the Trinamool Congress supremo, several top opposition leaders have called her a “product of the RSS” which had once compared her to “Goddess Durga” besides identifying with her as “best friend.”
Leading the opposition attack, senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakrabarty promptly hit back at the Chief Minister calling her an “opportunist” and reminded “we the Left parties had from the beginning warning one and all about her genuine colours … she is the product of the RSS in Bengal we told … not it is being confirmed in her statements… she cannot be trusted in the fight against communal forces.” Another senior CPI(M) leader Md Salim recalled how “a senior leader of the RSS had once seen in her a best friend.”
The CPI-M leader said how Mamata Banerjee had in the recent past camped at the neighbouring East Midnapore for two days to ensure that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat got the administrative attention he deserved during a visit by him to Keshiari in West Midnapore a few miles away. The Marxist leadership also wondered how the RSS managed to acquire huge tracts of land in Bengal’s districts to run its training centres.
Md Salim even dubbed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as “the RSS’s Durga.” While the AIMIM, Congress and the Left attacked Mamata for what they saw as “opportunism” on Banerjee’s part, the BJP said that it did not need certificates from the West Bengal chief minister.
The RSS, instead of commenting on her left-handed praise, pointed to Bengal’s record of political violence and asked for corrective measures.
The sharpest attack came from the Hyderabad-based All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who on Thursday said that “in 2003 too, she had called RSS ‘patriots’, (and) in turn Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh had called her Durga.”
Owaisi, whose party failed to win a single seat including Muslim majority constituencies in Bengal in the last assembly elections where it positioned itself as opposed to both TMC and BJP, said sarcastically “hope TMC’s ‘Muslim faces’ praise her for her honesty and consistency.” The TMC, however, tried to make light of Owaisi’s remark and said the party doesn’t need to prove its secular credentials to him.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “This is not the first time that she (Mamata Banerjee) has praised the RSS.” Banerjee had allied herself with the BJP-led NDA during late Atal Behari Vajpayee’s term as Prime Minister, before distancing herself from the NDA but had a tempestuous relationship with the alliance, often attacking it over disinvestment and other issues.
(With Agency Inputs)