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Who is BJP to give certificate who is national and who is anti-national, asks Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress candidate from Bhabanipur constituency, Mamata Banerjee gestures towards supporters as she attends the party workers' meeting ahead of Assembly By-elections, in Kolkata, Thursday, Sept 16, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

After visiting a mosque and a gurdwara, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday visited two temples in Bhabanipur clearly with the intention of wooing voters of all communities and religions.

During the day, she had an interaction at Uttam Udyam with representatives of Gujarati, Marwari and Jain communities where the Trinamool chairperson said she is there for every community.

Ms. Banerjee said she was destined to contest and represent Bhabanipur. The constituency located in south Kolkata is an eclectic mix of communities like Bengalis, Gujaratis, Marwaris and Hindi speaking people.

“When I go to a mosque, the BJP raises questions why am I going there? They are making the videos of my visit go viral. Yesterday [Wednesday] I went to a gurdwara. I covered my head and went. I do Kali Puja. When I go to gurdwara or do Kali Pujo, the BJP doesn’t object to it,” Ms. Banerjee said.

The Chief Minister said she had faced a similar campaign in Nandigram when the BJP had alleged that “Nandigram will become Pakistan”. “I will not let India become Taliban or Pakistan. This is my motherland. Who is BJP to give the certificate who is national and who is anti-national?”

The Chief Minister spoke about how she stood with members of the business and trading community during demonetisation and she would often frequent Burrabazar — the largest wholesale market in Kolkata. Ms. Banerjee filed her nomination for Bhabanipur on September 10 and in the past one week has left no stone unturned in reaching out to the voters.

The Chief Minister offered prayers at Lakshmi Narayan Temple and also followed the ritual of circumambulating the deity. At Gol Mandir, she distributed prasad among the devotees.

BJP candidate’s door-to-door campaign

BJP candidate Priyanka Tibrewal is trying to match up the campaign by visiting door to door in the constituency on Thursday. Occasionally, the BJP nominee is facing “Joy Bangla” slogans to which the BJP supporters are responding with “Jai Shri Ram” slogans.

The BJP leadership complained to the returning officer that COVID-19 protocols were violated during Ms. Banerljee’s visit to gurudwara on Wednesday. The BJP candidate has already been served a notice by the Election Commission on violation of the protocols.

Bhabanipur, Samserganj and Jangipur will go to the polls on September 30.

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