Giving a call to end communal hatred and lynching, chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said that people who accuse her of minority appeasement do not love either the Hindus or the Muslims.
“People who accuse me of appeasing the Muslims are friends of neither the Hindus nor the Muslims. My question to them is whether loving Hindus means you have to hate Muslims. I respect and love all communities and religion. This country belongs to everybody. Our parents have taught us to live together in peace and harmony with all communities,” said Miss Banerjee while addressing a special prayer gathering on Red Road to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr.
Her statement comes in the wake of BJP and other organisations accusing her of appeasing the minorities for political gains.
She asked people of the community not to listen to those who try to instigate them. “Just give me a hint about those people. Hint is enough for me. I’ll take all kinds of measures. So there is nothing to fear about,” Miss Banerjee said.
Miss Banerjee further said that it was due to her protest that the date of Niti Aayog meeting was changed. Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the meeting was earlier scheduled on 16 June, the day when Eid-ul-Fitr is to be celebrated.
“My question to the Centre is whether they are not aware that Eid is to be celebrated on this day. Why then was the Niti Aayog meeting scheduled on this day? I had written to the Central government urging it to change the date so that it doesn’t clash with Eid,” she said. The date of the meeting was changed from 16 to 17 June after Miss Banerjee and a few other chief ministers expressed unwillingness to attend the meeting in view of Eid.
Keeping an eye on the 2019 polls, Miss Banerjee said: “We have to understand that terrorists don’t belong to any religion. We all have to fight together in the 2019 to make this country free from the reign of communal hatred and lynching. Let’s work together to build a new India.”
Several Muslims assembled on Red Road this morning to offer special prayers on the occasion, which marks the end of month-long Ramzan.
“You (Muslims) offer prayers in such scorching heat. We wouldn’t be able to do what you’ll are capable of doing” she said. Conveying Eid greetings,she posted on Facebook: “I was present in the Eid congregation at Red Road on Saturday and exchanged greetings with all”.
Eid was celebrated in Kolkata with special prayers at mosques and exchange of greetings among friends and family members. The festival was observed in a big way at Nakhoda mosque and Tipu Sultan mosque in the city.