Amid the intense battle between BJP and CM Mamata Banerjee's TMC in poll-bound West Bengal, now the ruling party in the state has attacked BJP chief JP Nadda over 15th century saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The saffron party, with an aim to present themselves close to Bengali culture, is seen enjoying folk music, savouring Bengali cuisine and praising revered Bengali personalities during the campaign. However, the TMC has been prompt to point out the mistakes by the saffron party - which has placed itself as the major Opposition in West Bengal ahead of polls.
After a massive rift over Gurudeb Rabindranath Tagore, and goof-ups on Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar and Birsa Munda, TMC has attacked Nadda after he described a temple in Bardhaman as the site of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s diksha (initiation). Nadda had said on Sunday - "Friends, today I went to an old temple of Radha Govind, where Chaitanya Mahaprabhu received initiation (diksha)." The TMC said that the temple in Katwa, which Nadda visited, was built in 1839, however, Mahaprabhu breathed his last at the age of 48 in 1534 and the initiation of Mahaprabhu took place in 1510. Some also claimed that Nadda was probably referring to the centuries-old Gouranga temple where it is believed that Mahaprabhu visited in 1510.
Moreover, as Nadda had lunch in a farmers' house, TMC Youth wing National Vice President and actor Soham Chakraborty pointed out that he had a bottle of mineral water kept beside him, accusing the BJP chief of favouring the corporates even after eating at farmers' homes. He also held a rally in the Bardhaman to counter the BJP roadshow.
Ahead of ex-BJP chief Amit Shah's visit to Bolpur, hoardings with his picture of Rabindranath Tagore in the same frame caused outrage and TMC has accused the BJP of insulting Gurudeb. The pictures also caused outrage in neighbouring Santiniketan with a member of Tagore's family calling it "disgusting". TMC took to Twitter and told Amit Shah and BJP to "know the limits." The party said that BJP has once again insulted Tagore, adding that people of Bengal will "NEVER forgive this!" However, BJP leader Anupam Hazra, a picture of whom also figured in the same hoarding, alleged it was the handiwork of Trinamool Congress to embarrass the saffron party ahead of Shah's visit.
Earlier, when Nadda visited Bengal, TMC targeted the BJP chief over his statement on Rabindranath Tagore. Trinamool claimed that Nadda said that Tagore was born in Vishwa Bharti. Terming it as 'lie' and 'false information', Trinamool taunted Nadda by saying that 'foreigners' should learn about the history of Bengal, they also shared a screenshot of BJP's Twitter handle saying the same. However, BJP clarified by posting a video of Nadda's speech and said that what he had meant was that Tagore was born in West Bengal. Nadda had invoked Tagore in his speech and said, "Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high, today the head is down and the people of Bengal are full of fear". Nobel laureate Tagore was born in Jorasanko (now in Bangladesh) in 1861 and he had founded Visva Bharati in 1921.
While the BJP has chalked out a massive plan for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly polls which includes Home Minister Amit Shah visiting the state every month till the elections, Trinamool has already begun its outreach programme highlighting the welfare schemes of the Mamata Banerjee government. The TMC has also roped in former JDU VP and poll strategist Prashant Kishor for Mamata's re-election while the BJP's campaign is being headed by senior leader Kailash Vijayvargiya, under the leadership of BJP chief JP Nadda. Violence has already started in the state ahead of polls, with alleged TMC goons even attacking Nadda while he was on a two-day visit to the state. Earlier, Dilip Ghosh had also asked his BJP cadre to arm themselves with sticks and give it back to the Trinamool cadre if it comes to it. West Bengal assembly with 294 seats will go to polls in April-May 2021, Trinamool holds 222 seats. BJP has made major inroads in the state in the Lok Sabha elections winning 18 seats and establishing itself as the major opposition force in the state.