West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) request for permission to hold a 'Rath Yatra', terming it as a 'Danga Yatra'. The TMC government has denied BJP the permission to hold a series of rallies in the state, which was followed by a war of words between the two parties.
BJP President Amit Shah, during his address at the Republic Summit 2018, had hit out at the WB government for not allowing the permission to hold rallies. But Mamata Banerjee has now hit back at her counterpart.
"These so called Yogis, they are not Yogis, they are Bhogis. Today's Yogis are the biggest Bhogis. They've suddenly started giving diktats to people on religion. Who are they to decide? My faith is my choice, we are secular, we pray to all Gods and respect all religions. We love Hindu religion as much as we love Islam. We love Sikh religion and also love Christianity. (Quotes Rabindra Nath Tagore on religious equality) Rabindra Nath Tagore wrote - Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, Maratha, Dravida, Uttchala, Bongo. What's greater than this? A state where Swami Vivekananda was born, he is considered a great leader of Hindus. Iskon does Rath Yatras, they carry out the Jagarnath Rath Yatra, they don't carry out yatras to kill people. Those who carry out yatras to kill people indulge in Danga Yatras. There are yatras for Lord Krishna and Lord Jagarnath, we take part in those rath yatras. We don't disrespect anybody. But now there's an attempt to vitiate the atmosphere," she said at an event.
Just over a week ago, Amit Shah had taken on Mamata and her party for their decision to deny BJP the permission to hold Rath Ratra in the state. The BJP supremo called their stand on this matter as undemocratic.
"Can you believe, in a democracy like India, a party like BJP isn't being allowed to carry out a Rath Yatra? Permission isn't being granted to hold rallies. PM wanted to go, I wanted to go, Home Minister wanted to go, but they have stopped us. We went to court against it. You can imagine, I rally across the country, but to rally in West Bengal, I have to go to court. Prime Minister is forced to go to court to hold a rally," he added.
The party approached the court on this matter, and they were given permission to hold rallies. The Calcutta High Court on December 20 set aside government's order, and allowed BJP to hold three different rallies across the state. But a couple of days later, the division bench of Calcutta HC quashed the earlier judgment, and put on hold the proposed Rath Yatra of BJP.
Following that order, the party moved Supreme Court against the ruling, and even sought an urgent hearing. But the apex court rejected their plea, and informed them that the matter will be held in a normal course.