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TMC Questions Centre's Silence On Bangladesh Violence, BJP Hits Back

TMC questions Centre's silence on Bangladesh violence, BJP hits back


Kolkata, Oct 20 (PTI) The Trinamool Congress on Wednesday questioned the silence of the Union government on attacks on the Hindu population in Bangladesh and asked the BJP to refrain from pursuing "vulture politics" in Bengal by allegedly trying to fan communal sentiments.

Hitting back, the saffron party wondered if TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is generally ahead of others in tweeting posts on every issue, is keeping mum on the violence "to please her vote bank" in the state.

"Why is the union government, central ministers and even our prime minister are silent on the attack on Hindus in Bangladesh? All of us are concerned about what is going on in that country.

"Obviously, we need to maintain good relations with the Sheikh Hasina government, but that does not mean we would not speak out against the atrocities that are going on there," senior MP and TMC spokesperson Sougata Ray said.

It is shocking that nearly a week has passed, but not a single word was heard from the prime minister, though he had visited a temple in Bangladesh during the West Bengal assembly elections, Ray said.

The senior TMC leader was referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to a temple of the Matua community, which is politically significant in West Bengal, in March.

TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh accused the BJP's West Bengal unit of trying to fan communal sentiments in the state and asked the saffron camp to shun the culture of "vulture politics".

"Some of the BJP leaders is saying that the incident in Bangladesh will benefit the BJP. This means the BJP is the beneficiary of this atrocious attack on Hindus in Bangladesh. There should be a proper investigation on the role of the beneficiaries also," he said.

The BJP quickly hit back and wondered why Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had not uttered a single word condemning the incident.

"Why is Mamata Banerjee silent on this issue? Is it to please her vote bank in Bengal that TMC has turned a blind eye to the atrocities against the Hindus in the neighbouring country?" state BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharya said.

Reacting to Bhattacharya's allegation, Roy said why would the chief minister of a state react to issues that could have implications on bilateral ties.

Last week, the Ministry of External Affairs noted that the government in the neighbouring country had reacted promptly to ensure that the situation is under control and said the Indian mission is in close contact with the Bangladeshi authorities over the matter.

Violence had erupted in pockets of Bangladesh over an alleged blasphemy incident at a Durga Puja pavilion at Cumilla, around 100 km from Dhaka, following which paramilitary forces were deployed in many affected areas. However, sporadic clashes broke out between the police and bigots as media reported the vandalization of Hindu temples and Durga puja venues.

At least five persons were killed, and scores of others were injured in the clashes.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said action will be taken again those trying to "disturb communal harmony".

She also said the perpetrators would be hunted down and punished. PTI PNT NN NN

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