At mega rally, CM Bengal says: ‘Visva-Bharati has become the center of dirty politics’ – kolkata
Trinamool Head of Congress and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a large rally in Bolpur in Bengal’s Birbhum district, claiming that Visva-Bharati, the only university Central Bengal that Rabindranath Tagore had established in the city, has become a center of dirty politics.
Visva-Bharati has been in the news for several months for Vice Chancellor Bidyut Chakrabarty’s attempts to establish a security zone around campus. Authorities made headlines last week for accusing Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen of illegally occupying some land.
Banerjee headlined the largest roadshow Bolpur has witnessed in recent history in an attempt to overtake Union Interior Minister Amit Shah, who led a roadshow at the same location on December 20. While Shah’s roadshow followed a 1.5-kilometer route, Banerjee walked about 4.5 kilometers. The crowd that followed her was several times larger than what was seen at the BJP event.
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“After I was elected a member of the Lok Sabha for the first time (1984), Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister and also Chancellor of Visva-Bharati by default. It was with him that I came to campus for the first time. When students asked him over lunch who his icon should be, he pointed at me, ”Banerjee said.
“Do you know why he did that? It is because he had realized that I know the soil of Bengal and I love Bengal, ”said the prime minister.
“Today Visva-Bharati himself has become the center of dirty politics about blind religious faith. I don’t like it at all. I don’t like the fact that walls are going up. I say it clearly. Dirty politics have been imported here and in Bengal. Those who import this hatred do not know the Hindu religion, ”Banerjee said.
“To understand the true Hindu religion, you have to understand Tarapith, Kankalitala and Lalateshwari,” said the prime minister, referring to the most auspicious pilgrimage sites in the state dedicated to the goddess Shakti or Kali in their different forms.
Referring to state government social welfare programs, Banerjee said: “A lot of dirty politics is going on to divert people’s attention away from these. Those who killed Gandhi and defamed Tagore are his (BJP) leaders. The rector is a marked BJP puppet. Didn’t find anyone else for the post? Why do BJP leaders visit Visva-Bharati so often? What businesses do they have on campus? I do not do politics on the campus of the University of Calcutta ”.
“Those who have imported the policy of false videos and lies, those who are making outsiders visit their homes, are making false commitments,” Banerjee said.
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Significantly, folk singer Basudeb Das Baul, who hosted Shah’s lunch at his home, walked alongside Banerjee on Tuesday and even performed on the stage. Banerjee took off her shawl and wrapped it around her neck.
BJP hits back
Meanwhile, BJP national secretary Anupam Hazra, who was a member of TMC’s Bolpur Lok Sabha before joining the saffron camp in 2019, alleged that no more than 20,000 people seen on the Banerjee tour were local residents. “It is sad to see that the TMC brings people from other districts and even from Jharkhand. They were transported in trucks and the license plates of the vehicles were removed after they were parked, ”said Hazra, who accompanied Shah on December 20.
Anubrata Mondal, the president of the TMC district that organized the tour, dismissed the accusation. “TMC doesn’t need to import followers like BJP. We wanted to gather around 1.5 lakh of local people, but 4.5 lakh came alone, ”Mondal said.