Kolkata: A Railway advertisement showing
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee offering namaz with Islamic
motifs in the background drew flak today from CPI (M) and BJP
which described it as a desperate move to woo minority votes
ahead of the assembly elections in West Bengal.
Stating that the advertisement did not augur well for the
Railways in view of the country`s secular fabric, CPI (M)
central committee member Md Selim said "in our secular setup,
government departments have to be spared religious purposes.
"Using the Railways for this purpose is not only
unethical but against constitutional propriety," he said.
"This is a dangerous move to mix religion with politics.
Our party CPI (M) is totally opposed to it," Selim said.
"There should be no objection if an individual is
projected in that manner but we find no reason why a
government department is used for such a purpose," Selim said.
The CPI (M) leader alleged the Trinamool chief had often
played the religion card to suit her political purpose.
State BJP President Rahul Sinha alleged it was a blatant
misuse of the Railways by the minister herself "who does not
spare the government department to project her political
He charged Banerjee`s photograph showing her offering
namaz was an insult to Islam and said "no non-Muslim can offer
namaz unless converted to Islam."
He alleged it was nothing new for Trinamool Congress
"which shared the dais with Muslim clerics to woo minority
The advertisement was published in dailies here by the
Eastern Railway on the occasion of laying of the foundation
for a double line from Princep ghat station to Tala station on