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TMC-BJP Discusses Swami Vivekananda’s Legacy Before Assembly Elections | India News

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NEW DELHI: The war of words between the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal and its main rival, the BJP, is getting louder by the day ahead of the assembly elections. On Tuesday, the two sides clashed verbally in Swami Vivekanandaanniversary of the birth with both seeking to appropriate his legacy.
While the BJP said that it wants to lead the state on the path of development following the principles of Vivekananda, the TMC stated that Swami Vivekananda’s land will never accept “imported Gujarat hate policies.”
The 19th century monk’s birth anniversary was celebrated in West Bengal on Tuesday and the main attraction was his home on Simla Street in Kolkata, where leaders of various political parties paid tribute to the Hindu spiritual leader and reformer.
Leaders from both the BJP and TMC headed directly to Swamiji’s residence early in the morning and paid floral tributes to the monk, whose birth anniversary is celebrated as National Youth Day.
With the state elections in Bengal only a few months away, the occasion triggered a war of political competition between the TMC and the BJP.
The saffron festival organized various programs throughout the state to show that they were the true followers of the monk.
The president of the youth wing of the Trinamool Congress and MP Abhishek Banerjee, who participated in a five-kilometer march to mark the day, mocked the BJP for propagating themselves as followers of Swami Vivekananda and said that he never preached “divisive politics”.
“A political party is trying to spread themselves as followers of Swami Vivekananda. I want to tell you that Swamiji never preached the politics of hatred and communalism, practiced by the BJP,” Abhishek said while addressing a rally after a march in southern Kolkata.
Abhishek, who is also a parliamentarian and nephew of West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, said that Swami Vivekananda’s land has no place for imported Gujaratian hate politics.
“The people of Bengal and the land of Vivekananda, which is his birthplace, will reject the policy of hatred practiced by the saffron party.
“They (BJP) have passed a new CAA citizenship law, where a person will obtain citizenship based on religion. Did Swamiji ever say that citizenship should be granted after determining religion?” I ask.
By accusing the BJP of insulting Bengal icons such as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Banerjee said, none of them propagated the confrontation of one religion against another, like the BJP.
TMC leader and senior minister Firhad Hakim said that the BJP is using Swami Vivekananda and other icons for its political achievements.
“They are trying to use the icons of Bengal for their vested interests. If they are so concerned about Swami Vivekananda, in the last six years, what has the Union government done to commemorate the anniversary of his birth and his ideals? The answer it’s nothing, “he said.
Paying tribute to Swamiji, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “His message of peace and universal brotherhood is of utmost relevance today and inspires us all to strive to safeguard these ideals in our beloved nation.”
The TMC and its youth wing held demonstrations in various parts of the state to observe the anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s birth.
Meanwhile, the BJP, trying to shed the TMC-branded “outsider” label, left no stone unturned to mark the 158th anniversary of the monk’s birth with pomp and grandeur.
In addition to holding demonstrations in various parts of the state, the BJP leadership held a demonstration from Shyambazar to the monk’s ancestral residence on Simla Street in northern Kolkata.
“The ideals of Swami Vivekananda are more relevant in the world today. We would lead the state on the path of development following Swamiji’s principles,” said BJP West Bengal President Dilip Ghosh after leading the rally.
There is a need for change in Bengal and its ideals are our guiding light, he said.
BJP leader Rahul Sinha said that the party has always been a fervent follower of Swami Vivekananda’s ideals.
BJP National Vice President Mukul Roy and other state leaders such as former state President Rahul Sinha Jaiprakash Majumdar also participated in the rally.
Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel, Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, BJP National Secretary General Kailash Vijayvargiya, and Senior Leader Suvendu Adhikari adorned the statue of Swami Vivekananda at their residence at the north of Calcutta.
The election for the 294-member West Bengal assembly is scheduled for April-May.

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