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Cong, CPM slam BJP over rath yatras in Bengal

Religion was never allowed to be mixed with politics in the state till the BJP started to do so with the abetment of the ruling party, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Pradip Bhattacharya said.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Sinking ideological differences, state Congress and CPI-M leaders on Tuesday lashed out at the BJP which has rescheduled its rath yatra from three places in the state in the first week of December.

After the duo’s floor coordination in the House caught the Treasury Benches on the wrong foot, both the parties now feel that religion is being mixed with politics following a tacit understanding between ruling Trinamul Congress and BJP.

Religion was never allowed to be mixed with politics in the state till the BJP started to do so with the abetment of the ruling party, senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Pradip Bhattacharya said during the day. Religion and politics make a dangerous concoction which makes people take leave of their senses, he said.

Losing their thinking power, people indulge in acts which they would have shied away from earlier, the veteran Congress leader said. Different acts of violence and arson since the early ’90s of the previous millennium till date underscore this contention, he added.

These rath yatras which are scheduled to be led by BJP’s national president Amit Shah will try to upset the communal balance in an extensive part of the state, Bhattacharya apprehended. Though law and order is a state subject, the ruling Trinamul is looking the other way now, he contended.

The leaders of the of the ruling party will only open their mouths to condemn such acts after they have occurred, the Rajya Sabha MP said. Preventive steps are unlikely as the ruling parties at the Centre and the state are acting in tandem, he alleged.

Of course, overlooking BJP’s move to communalise Bengal will be handsomely rewarded, Bhattacharya said.

The Union government will look the other way from Trinamul government’s misgovernance and corruption, he alleged.

It does not matter whether BJP is rescheduling its rath yatra programme which seeks to divide people in religious lines or not, senior CPI-M leader Sujan Chakraborty said. Its sole aim is to mix religion with politics, a dangerous trend which hitherto was absent in the state, he said.

It is getting covert help from ruling party Trinamul Congress in this regard, the veteran legislator said, adding, “It is a mutually beneficial arrangement which is allowing both the outfits to earn handsome political dividends.”