Many Muslim clerics and academics are disappointed upon hearing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee speak of minority votebank politics and Muslim appeasement after the Trinamool Congress suffered serious reverses in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections 2019.
Coming down heavily on the head of the ruling Trinamool Congress, they said Muslims had been giving her votes, not kicks since 2011 when her party came to power in Bengal. “Her statements undermining us will make her a gram panchayat pradhan not the pradhan mantri (Prime Minister) which she was dreaming of this time,” a cleric said.
On Saturday, while speaking to reporters at her Kalighat residence for the first time after Trinamool suffered a severe setback with the BJP bagging 18 seats in Bengal in the Lok Sabha elections, Miss Banerjee said, “I appease Muslims and will do it 100 times as there is no harm in taking kicks from a cow that gives you milk.”
“She compared Muslims with cows and this will bring her fall. Having bagged many seats in the minority-dominated constituencies she does not need us till another election comes in the state. Her divisive politics will make her a gram panchayat pradhan instead of her dream of becoming pradhan mantri,” said Ibrahim Siddique, a senior cleric of Furfura Shariff in Hooghly district.
“With a dramatic rise of the BJP in Bengal, the Trinamool will be ruined soon. Her remarks about Muslim appeasement are unfortunate and humiliating,” he added.
“Minorities with 30 cent of vote share have been playing an important role to bring and keep Trinamool Congress in power in Bengal since 2011 but our chief minister’s statement on Muslim appeasement politics is very unfortunate for us. It will damage her party if she makes more such remarks,” said Faruque Ahamed, a researcher of the Kalyani University and one of the prominent faces among the minorities who were instrumental behind the change in power in 2011.
“We want real development for the minorities and religious harmony,” he added.
“We are hurt by the chief minister’s statements. She is doing politics of religious polarisation instead of building a bridge between communities. Why is she using the word ‘kicks’ and why should we do this?” said professor of International Relations Abdul Matin of Jadavpur University.
“Muslims are giving her milk but she is not doing anything for the development of the minorities. Nothing is done for OBC reservations, recruitment in Madrasha Service Commission, developments in educations in minority-dominated areas etc,” professor Matin alleged.