Mamata Banerjee takes dig at BJP, says yatras are conducted in God's name and not to incite riots

Sagar Island (West Bengal): Coming down heavily on the BJP for its proposed Rath Yatras in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said such yatras are typically conducted in the name of God, and not meant to indulge in "danga" (riot).

The Supreme Court on Monday declined an urgent hearing on a BJP plea challenging a Calcutta High Court order disallowing its Rath Yatras in the state.

Mamata Banerjee addresses an event by West Bengal government at Sagar Island, in Gangasagar, on Friday. PTI

Mamata Banerjee addresses an event by West Bengal government at Sagar Island, in Gangasagar, on Friday. PTI

"There are yatras for Lord Krishna and Lord Jagannath, we take part in those rath yatras. Those who carry out yatras to kill common people indulge in 'danga' yatras," Banerjee said at a public distribution programme.

"We don't insult anybody. We respect everyone irrespective of their religious affinity," she added.

The three-phased Rath Yatra, also being called the "Save Democracy Rally", was scheduled to be held this month, covering all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state. The rallies were to be flagged off by BJP president Amit Shah.

Banerjee also hit out at BJP leaders, calling them "bhogis" (people indulging in material enjoyment) and said the party was no authority to decide on what religion people should follow.

"These so-called 'yogis' (holy men) are not 'yogis' but they are 'bhogis'. They've suddenly started giving diktats to people on religion. Who are they to decide?

"My faith is my choice. We are secular, pray to all Gods and respect all religions. We love the Hindu religion as much as Islam, Sikh religion and Christianity," she said.

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Updated Date: Dec 28, 2018 20:50:04 IST

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