POLITICS

Growing Intolerance Makes Me Ashamed Of Being An Indian, Says Mamata, BJP Hits Back

'Threat and intimidation' cannot silence me, she said. 

12/05/2017 9:00 AM IST | Updated 12/05/2017 9:00 AM IST
Pacific Press via Getty Images

KOLKATA -- Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said only West Bengal can fight and save the country from the prevailing "intolerance" and "divisive" politics and cannot be silenced by "threat and intimidation" by the BJP.

"The tactics of threat and intimidation cannot silence me. Other states like Bihar, Maharashtra may be silent but Bengal will not stop its fight and protest, whatever be the situation. Only West Bengal can fight against this communal politics and intolerance and save the country," she said while speaking at a meeting here on the occasion of Buddha Purnima.

Challenging the BJP to put her in jail, Banerjee said that she will continue her fight against them (the BJP) and even go to jail. She will not leave the fight and will protest till the end.

"Every religious group must live in harmony and not lift swords on each other. It is a matter of great shame that I was born on this land," she said.

"Only Bengal can stop the wave of the intolerance that is going on in the country in the name of religion. I feel bad when I see that this is my country".

The BJP has slammed her for her "ashamed of being born an Indian remark. "Mamata, after enjoying power for decades where people showed love, and affection and supported her all through her political career, now is paying them back by saying such things. She is insulting all those who supported her all through these years," the party said.

Banerjee also said that democracy was at stake in the hands of the BJP and that she would not sit silent on the matter.

In a veiled reference to 2002 Godhra riots in Gujarat, she said "Butchers are born in slaughter houses, not the philosophers."

"I am in politics but it does not give me the right to dictate what others will eat or not. This is not the real religion. Religion does not teach us to do politics over it or kill people. Religion means faith, peace, love and brotherhood," she said.

Criticising the politics over beef and cow slaughter, she said threat and intimidation cannot silence her against intolerance.

Banerjee also lashed out at the state BJP leadership for calling her a "eunuch".

"I have been even called an eunuch. I want justice. This is a shame. I may be a very bad person, but I still have the right to lead a respectable life. I want justice from the people," she added.

West Bengal BJP committee member Shyamapada Mondal had on 30 April described Banerjee a eunuch while addressing a party meeting at Chandrakona in West Midnapore district, accusing her of practising the politics of appeasement.

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