Some people are pursuing politics of hate, trying to divide the country: Mamata

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday claimed that some people are trying to divide the nation by pursuing politics of hate and said that she is ready to give her life but “will not allow a division of the country”.

Banerjee, speaking at a congregation for Eid namaz at the city’s Red Road, also urged people to unite and ensure that the right-wing BJP is defeated in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

“Some people are trying to divide the country and practise politics of hate … I am ready to give my life but will not allow any division of the country,” she said, without naming anyone.

Accusing the saffron camp of trying to change the constitution of the country, the Trinamool Congress supremo said she will not allow implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in West Bengal.

It has been the TMC’s stand that the NRC and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which confers citizenship rights on minorities from neighbouring countries were not needed and existing acts are sufficient.

“I am ready to fight the money power (of her political opponents) and (central) agencies (which her party alleges has been unleashed on TMC with a political motive), but I will not bow my head,” Banerjee said.

She was accompanied by her nephew and TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee at the programme.

“In one year, Lok Sabha elections will be held to decide who will come to power in our country. Let us promise that we will unite and fight against divisive forces. We must ensure that all of us together vote them out in the next polls. If we fail to protect democracy, then everything will be finished,” the TMC boss said.

In an apparent reference to communal tensions during Ram Navami celebrations in West Bengal, Banerjee said she only wants peace and doesn’t want riots in the state.

Prohibitory orders were imposed in West Bengal’s Hooghly and Howrah districts, where clashes broke out between two groups when Ram Navami processions were taken out.

Hitting out at the opposition CPI (M) and Congress, without naming them, Banerjee claimed that some people were trying to “divide the minority votes.” “Some people are taking money from the BJP and are saying they will divide the minority votes. I want to tell them they can’t divide the Muslim votes for BJP. All of us will unite to defeat them,” she said.

Her comment comes in the backdrop of the TMC’s defeat in the Sagardighi assembly by-poll last month, where the Congress-Left alliance snatched the minority-dominated seat from her party. Banerjee has blamed the defeat on an “unholy nexus of Congress-CPI (M)-BJP” in the state.

Referring to the recent developments in the Bilkis Bano case, Banerjee said everyone was released in the case, but “we will fight it out,” The Centre and the Gujarat government on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that they may file a plea seeking a review of its March 27 order asking them to be ready with original files on the grant of remission to the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case.

All 11 convicts were granted remission by the Gujarat government and released on August 15 last year. Several PILs were filed in the Supreme Court against the release of the convicts.

Reacting to Banerjee’s remark, BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya asserted that the chief minister is trying to politicise a religious event.

“It is unimaginable that a democratically elected chief minister is using a religious event to serve her political interests. We condemn such divisive and narrow politics,” he said.