KOLKATA: In an apparent bid to hard-sell its religious ideology, the BJP on Sunday observed ‘Poschimbongo Divas’ (West Bengal Day) here by paying tribute to party ideologue Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, as saffron camp leaders claimed that the state, without his intervention, would have become part of an Islamist country.
The TMC, however, alleged that the saffron party was trying to “distort” history.
Opposition leader in West Bengal Assembly and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari led a programme organised on the occasion at the party headquarters here, while saffron camp MP Swapan Dasgupta took to Twitter to mark the day with his post.
Regretting the fact that “neither the TMC not the erstwhile ruling parties — the CPI(M) and the Congress — observed the day”, Adhikari told reporters, “Had 54 Hindu representatives not carved out Poschimbongo, Islamabad or Dhaka would have been our state capital, not Kolkata.”
Giving alleged incidents of post-poll violence in the state a communal colour, he further said that “people have been attacked for following the Sanatan Hindu dharma”.
“As many as 17,500 people are still homeless and 42 have been killed (due to post-poll violence),” Adhikari stated during the function at the party headquarters.
Asked about the demand for a separate territory by a certain section of people in north Bengal, the leader of opposition said his party does not support any call for division of the state.
He, however, insisted that grievances of people in the northern part of Bengal should be addressed.
At another programme near the south gate of the Assembly, he said, “The BJP will not back any demand for bifurcation of Bengal, but why is that just a few leaders from south Kolkata are given all key ministerial responsibilities? Districts have faced neglect for years.
” BJP MPs John Barla and Jayanta Roy have recently raised demand for carving out a separate state comprising north Bengal districts, drawing a sharp retort from the TMC and other parties.
The saffron camp leadership has also distanced itself from the comment.
Dasgupta, a member of the Rajya Sabha, meanwhile, tweeted, “June 20 is West Bengal Day, the day in 1947 Bengali Hindus took the momentous decision to carve out a separate province in India to thwart the Muslim League bid to secure the whole of Bengal for Pakistan.
There was a philosophy that shaped the decision & we must not forget it.
” TMC MP Sougata Roy, in response, said the BJP was trying to misinform people with its own version of history.
“Shyama Prasad Mukherjee is not the only personality who stood for Bengal, there were many others, too, including progressive Muslims,” he added.