Sanjay Das, the priest at Kapil Muni Ashram in Gangasagar, and successor of mahant Gyandas, today slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not visiting the Gangasagar Mela despite being in the state two days before the festival of ‘Makar Sankranti’. The priest also said that the Centre is treating the mela with a step-motherly attitude, by not providing any assistance for the mega pilgrimage.

Making a scathing attack on the BJP-led government, the priest said, “At all other places, apart from the state government, the central government also makes arrangements for such events and gives considerable financial assistance for the welfare of the devotees. However, it is only Gangasagar Mela in which the West Bengal government makes all the arrangements for the devotees.

Although the central government claims itself to be a religious government, it has made no contribution in the pilgrimage. There is ignorance on the part of the Union government on the mela.” The successor of the chief priest said, “If there is any big mela after Kumbh, it is Gangasagar. All governments are elected by the common people. However, the central government does not provide any financial assistance for the welfare of the devotees.

It is a step-motherly behaviour of the central government. The Union government provided facilities to all other religious fairs, including Kumbh Mela.” The priest asked, “Is Gangasagar in any way lesser than Kumbh? The central government should provide assistance but it doesn’t. No Union minister comes to the mela nor is any statement made on the grand event. Whatever initiative is taken, it is only by the state government.”

Lambasting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not visiting the mela despite being in the state two days before the event, Das said, “It is an irony that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Kolkata but did not visit the mela. He even paid a visit to Belur Math. They claim to be followers of Hindutva, but he did not think it proper to visit here for a while. Modiji did not utter a word on this mela.’ He added, “Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is doing such a lot for the Hindus. We wish that Miss Banerjee to govern the state for a long time.”