Kolkata

Shares stage with Furfura Sharif Peerzada, targets BJP

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Sharing the dais with a prominent leader of minority community, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday went to count the initiatives her government has taken for minorities and expressed strong condemnation of incidents like Dadri lynching case.

Ms Banerjee shared the stage with Toha Siddique, the Peerzada of Furfura Sharif, a prominent shrine for Bengali Muslims in West Bengal’s Hooghly district, who in the past has been critical of the politics of the ruling Trinamool Congress.

With elections round the corner, Ms Banerjee smoothened ruffled feathers and targeted the BJP-government at the Centre on a host of issues.

“You eat what you want. Let others eat what they want,” she said, adding that she also eats fish and none can prevent her from doing that.

The Chief Minister went on to emphasise on the “rising intolerance” and referred to comments made against actors Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan. “Why should they (leave the country)? They are also Indians,” she added.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Siddique made it clear that he holds a sway over minority votes and can be a deciding factor for at least 48 Assembly seats.

Throughout her half-an-hour-long speech, Ms Banerjee repeatedly stressed on her government’s commitment to safeguard minority rights and development.

Though she did not name the BJP, her obvious references of indulging in “politics of divisiveness” were directed at the ruling party at the Centre.

“We believe in the freedom of religion and communal harmony. Unity is our strength. Divisiveness will spell our doom,” she said.

With the Assembly polls drawing nearer, Ms. Banerjee has been reaching out to various minority outfits and religious leaders in a bid to consolidate her Muslim vote base.

Last month she shared dais with another prominent minority leader Siddiqullah Chowdhury, who of late was also criticising the policies of the Trinamool Congress government.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 12:04:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/shares-stage-with-furfura-sharif-peerzada-targets-bjp/article8006338.ece

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