West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief, Dilip Ghosh, has yet again stoked a controversy with his assertion that those opposing the chants of "Bharat Mata ki Jai" and "Jai Sri Ram" in the country will become history.
"A leader like Narendra Modi has the capacity to take such decisions in this platform. If anyone restricts he will be thrown out from here. From Gujarat to Guwahati and from Kashmir to Kanyakumari everyone has to utter Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Jai Shri Ram and the one who would oppose this has to be a part of history," Ghosh told a public meeting in North 24 Parganas district.
"The BJP is present all over the nation. I request you not to compel us. The BJP is very good but if you compel then the party would be the worst of all," he added.
The BJP later came out in defence of Ghosh with party national secretary Rahul Sinha stating that all Indians should praise the country they live in.
On Sunday, he attempted to justify his comment by saying that the TMC-ruled state's situation is worrisome - he claimed people are not allowed to perform rituals, but slogans in support of Pakistan can be heard aloud.
"This is not a controversy. The situation in Bengal is worrisome. Chanting 'Jai Shri Ram' is not allowed anymore and on the eve of Ram Navami the processions are being stopped. So, now in India you cannot say 'Jai Shri Ram' but say 'Pakistan Zindabad' aloud. Therefore, in this regard I made that statement," Ghosh told ANI.
He further said the Congress will witness the same fate as that of the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), who have become history in Indian politics.
"I said those who will not chant 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' and 'Jai Shri Ram', they will become history or such parties will become history. During the festivals, permissions are not being granted to follow the rituals and cases are being filed against those who continue to do so," Ghosh added.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Power Minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay said mocked Ghosh's assertion and said this exposes the frustration in the BJP, which is desperate to establish its political foothold in the entire nation.
"Ram Chandra is our God and Bharat Mata is the mother of India. The party couldn't not come into power (in West Bengal) for a long time and, therefore, I think they have this thing on their mind that they will dominate India, but I understand our nation is not like that," he added.
Chattopadhyay further said the BJP is using religion to gain political mileage.
"We all consider Bharat Mata as our mother land, but such comments are utter nonsense. We cannot use any God as a political weapon, that's a crime," he added.
Echoing similar sentiments, Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill told ANI in New Delhi that Ghosh should keep one thing in mind that the BJP will be relegated to history if he keeps on using religion as a political tool at this pace and misusing the name of Lord Ram.