West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who is believed to be the number two in the Trinamool Congress, on Tuesday triggered a row over the issue of ‘Jai Sri Ram’ sloganeering. Speaking at an event in Sonarpur, Abhishek targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying that “if anyone raises the slogan of ‘Jai Sri Ram’, feed him with sweets and say ‘Ram Naam Satya Hai’ (which is recited when someone dies).”
Abhishek, who represents Diamond Harbour in Lok Sabha, was addressing Trinamool Congress workers at Sonarpur on Monday when he made the remark. He, however, also said during the event that developmental programmes of the West Bengal government must benefit everyone, even those who are part of rival parties like the CPM and the BJP.
He also used the opportunity to hit out at the BJP, accusing the party of taking the path of violence to gain power in West Bengal. The Trinamool Congress MP alleged that the BJP was trying to divide West Bengal on the basis of religion.
Later, addressing a gathering in South 24 Parganas, Abhishek Banerjee said that the funds issued by the state government for the benefit of people must reach the beneficiaries. Without naming any leader, he attacked those who left the TMC to join the BJP, saying, “Some people are thinking that they can take the money meant for people to Delhi and escape. They are joining the BJP with this intention. But if they tamper with the funds released by government, they will not be spared.”
“We need to reply to them in the language they understand. If they understand Rabindra Sangeet, then we will play Rabindra Sangeet, but if that doesn’t work, we should not refrain ourselves from playing DJ,” he said.
According to the Trinamool Congress leader, violence cannot be used to stop his party as “we will lock up those who resort to violence”.