West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday condemned the killing of Bangladeshi writer and blogger, Avijit Roy. Later in a programme in the city Ms. Banerjee reiterated her point of view, >a week after Roy was hacked to death by the unknown assailants in Dhaka.
“We strongly protest the sad death of the Bangladeshi blogger. You cannot stop the freedom of expression. It is a democratic right. I have no language of consolation for the bereaved family. We condemn those who did this act of killing,” the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chairperson said.
“I strongly condemn the brutal murder of the Bangladeshi writer few days ago. We believe in freedom of expression”, Ms. Banerjee tweeted.
“Words are not enough to condemn the sad incident. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of the Bangladeshi writer,” she said on Twitter, after a minute.
Interestingly, Ms. Banerjee’s key Opposition in the State – Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) – often alleges that the Chief Minister is “importing religious fundamentalists” from Bangladesh to West Bengal and marginalising the majority community. The opinion has developed on basis of certain perceptions spread by public posturing of the Chief Minister, which indicated that Ms. Banerjee is keen to align herself with the minorities rather than majorities in the State.
As a result, the Hindu vote base was fast consolidating against the TMC. It was evident after a few by-polls and Ms Banerjee immediately started indicating that she is against all kinds of “religious fundamentalism” and not against any particular group or religion.
Her statement and the tweets demanding “freedom of expression” thus indicates, Ms Banerjee has now modified her position and keen to flag the identity related issues of all the communities, rather than only those who vote en masse for the TMC.