Haridwar: BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj triggered a fresh controversy on Sunday by saying that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee "belongs to the family of demon king Hirankashyap."
Hirankashyap was an ancient Hindu ruler who is believed to have put his son Prahlad behind the bars and tortured him for believing in God.
"As we talk of West Bengal, I remember the demon king Hirankashyap who had put his son behind bars and tortured him for saying `Jai Shri Ram`. This is being repeated in Bengal and it seems that Mamata Banerjee belongs to the family of demon Hirankashyap as she put all those behind bars who say `Jai Shri Ram`," said Sakshi Maharaj.
"She gets irritated, puts people behind bars, abuse them and conspires against those who say 'Jai Shri Ram'", he said.
Mamata Banerjee had on Sunday criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said that its leaders are using the religious slogan, 'Jai Shri Ram' as their party slogan in a "misconceived manner".
The firebrand TMC chief also accused the BJP of ''mixing politics with religion'' by using the 'Jai Sri Ram' slogan.
Mamata took to Facebook and wrote that "some BJP supporters are trying to spread hatred ideology through one section of media - the so-called BJP media and the so-called fake video, fake news, misinformation and disinformation to create confusion and to suppress truth and reality."
"From Ram Mohan Roy to Vidyasagar to other great social reformers, Bengal has been a seat of harmony, progress and forward thinking. But now, the misconceived strategy of BJP is targeting Bengal in a very negative manner," she wrote in her Facebook post.
The TMC leader went on to add that she has "no problem" with any particular slogan of political parties.
"Every political party has its own slogan. My party has Jai Hind, Vande Mataram. The Left has Inquilab Zindabad. Others have different slogans. We respect each other... Jai Sia Ram, Jai Ram Ji Ki, Ram Naam Satya hai etc have religious and social connotations. We respect these sentiments," Banerjee added.
"But BJP is using religious slogan Jai Sri Ram as their party slogan in a misconceived manner by way of mixing religion with politics. Deliberate attempts are being made to propagate the ideology of hatred through vandalism and violence, which must be opposed,'' the West Bengal CM said.
Banerjee went to suggest that it is "high time that proper action is taken to restrain political workers from indulging in activities of creating unrest, chaos, violence and disruption of normal life by taking recourse to misplaced ideologies in the so-called name of religion to create a divide among the people."
Banerjee had on May 30 reprimanded people chanting `Jai Shri Ram` slogan in North 24 Parganas saying, "they are BJP people and criminals from outside the state."Later, the BJP leader Dilip Ghosh slammed Banerjee, saying that the chief minister has completely lost her mind.
On Saturday, a scuffle broke out between the police and a group of people who were allegedly raising `Jai Shri Ram` slogans outside the residence of TMC leader and Minister for Fire department Sujit Bose in Kanchrapara.