Kolkata: While Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali performed here to a packed venue, a section of Twitterati, including BJP leaders, slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for inviting the singer to India just weeks after the Pathankot attacks.
The singer was felicitated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The opposition, meanwhile, criticised Banerjee for attending the concert amid outrage over Malda violence.
However, Trinamool Congress MP Sultan Ahmed, said, "We can win over terrorism only with the support of the entire nation, be it is the citizens of India or Pakistan. If such interactive events, culture and business are stopped, it will make terrorism win. So these events should not be stopped."
Ali, who has over the years enthralled millions across the globe with his baritone voice, expressed gratitude and elation to be able to perform in the eastern metropolis with his son at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here.
But that did not stop a section of netizens from taking a dig at the initiative.
Here's what they posted on Twitter:
"Due to Confidence Building Measures like #PathankotAttack, Ghulam Ali will perform again in Kolkata (after saying he won't be back ever)."
Another post said: "Ghulam Ali concert on January 12. Midnight betrayal on border, but Ghazal nite in Kolkata."
"We lost our martyrs in Pathankot last week & WB CM @MamataOfficial, Kolkata people are enjoying Pak singer Ghulam Ali's ghazals. Speechless!" said yet another tweet.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh attacked Banerjee's Trinamool Congress with: "TMC Govt is doing politics by bringing Ghulam Ali to perform in Kolkata."
An update by Bengal BJP's Twitter handle said: "When entire nation want answer for #PathankotAttack,CM #AntiNationalMamata brings Pak Singer Gulam Ali for Concert."
On the other hand, positives did resonate on the microblogging platform.
"Blockbuster Full House at Ghulam Ali Concert in Netaji Indoor Stadium Kolkata today. Shivsena can create nuisance in Mumbai, not elsewhere!" chirped one.
After cancellation of his concert in Mumbai due to threats by the Shiv Sena, Ghulam Ali in November had expressed disappointment asserting "never to return to India".
Mamata Banerjee offered Kolkata as a venue following the cancellation of the Mumbai concert in October.
The Bengal CM has also been critisised by many for finding time to attend the concert even as Malda violence is making headlines.
A BJP delegation led by general secretary and West Bengal in-charge Kailash Vijayavargiya today met union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and demanded a high-level inquiry into the violence case.
BJP had earlier said that Malda had become a hub for drug trade as authorities overlooked opium cultivation, asking why the West Bengal chief minister did not make efforts to stop such cultivation.
According to reports, what triggered the week long tensions in Malda was a meeting of a large mob, which torched almost dozen vehicles and the police station in Kaliachak. The rally was organized by an extreme group, the Anjuman Ahle Sunnatul Jamaat (AASJ) to protest against the alleged remarks by Kamalesh Tiwari, a Hindu Mahasabha activist in Uttar Pradesh. He had made the remark on December 1 and the protests were held on January 3. A Hindu priest was allegedly injured in the violence.
Watch the video of Mamata Banerjee attending 'Gulam Ali show' here (courtesy - ANI):
WATCH: WB CM Mamata Banerjee at Ghulam Ali's concert in Kolkata's Netaji Indoor Stadium. https://t.co/hQSlK0E2U2
— ANI (@ANI_news) January 12, 2016