'Does loving Hindus mean hating Muslims?' Mamata Banerjee hits back at charges of minority appeasement

Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said those who accuse her of appeasing Muslims are friends of neither the Hindus nor the Muslims.

"Some accuse me of Muslim appeasement. My question to them is whether loving Hindus means you have to hate Muslims. I respect and love all communities and religion. This country belongs to everybody," she said.

File image of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

File image of Mamata Banerjee. PTI

"Those who say I appease Muslims are friends of neither the Hindus nor the Muslims," Banerjee said while addressing a special
prayer gathering on Red Road to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr.

The BJP and some other organisations have been charging Banerjee with appeasement of Muslims for political reasons. The chief minister said it was due to her protest that the Niti Aayog meeting which was earlier scheduled for Saturday was changed to Sunday.

"My question to the central government officials is whether they are not aware that Eid is scheduled to be celebrated on 16 June. Why was the Niti Aayog meeting kept on that day? I had written to the central government urging it to change the date so that it doesn't clash with Eid," she said.

Banerjee had confirmed her participation in the Niti Aayog's rescheduled governing council meeting in New Delhi on Sunday. The meeting, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was earlier scheduled for Saturday, the day when Eid-ul-Fitr is being celebrated.

Banerjee and a few other chief ministers had expressed unwillingness to attend the meeting in view of Eid, following which it was postponed by a day.

Updated Date: Jun 16, 2018 16:36 PM

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