‘Don’t let anyone split your votes’, Mamata Banerjee urges ‘minority community’ in West Bengal

Ahead of the 2024, raising “Remove BJP, Save Country” and “Jai INDIA” slogans, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday urged the minority community not allow their votes to get divided in the state in the coming Lok Sabha polls. She affirmed that she is with INDIA alliance, which oust BJP in six months, but she will continue to fight Congress and CPI-M in the state as BJP wants to divide the minority vote and try to take benefit in Bengal in the coming polls.

Banerjee, who was speaking at a conference of the state’s imams and muezzins in Kolkata, claimed that BJP is instigating divisive forces in the state and teaming up with Congress and CPI-M. Banerjee has cleared her stand time and again in the recent days that though she will be part of the INDIA alliance in Delhi and fight to remove the BJP government at the Centre, ahe will continue to fight against Congress and CPI-M in the state.

The West Bengal Chief Minister also urged the minority community not to fall prey to divisive politics allegedly instigated by BJP for vote bank politics.

Banerjee told the Imams and muezzins in the programme that she will oppose the uniform civil code as she had opposed and prevented NRC and CAA. “BJP is instigating divisive forces in Bengal and teaming up with Congress and CPI-M in Bengal. We believe in communal harmony.” Senior Trinamool Congress leaders from the minority community, including state ministers Firhad Hakim and Siddiqullah Chowdhury, were present at the meeting.

Banerjee’s presence at the conference was significant when Trinamool is aiming at consolidation of Muslim votes and prevent its shift with the rise of the Indian Secular Front (ISF).

She elaborated about developments done for the minority community in the state. “The Centre has stopped OBC scholarships as 99% Muslims in Bengal are OBCs,” Banerjee claimed.

“Around 307 unaided Madrasas were given recognition earlier. Another 707 Madrasas will be given recognition and survey is underway. We have created a group of ministers to survey the Khariji Madrasas. Students who study there should get all benefits of social welfare schemes including Kanyashree, Sabujsathi etc. Please register in these to get benefits.”

“We are creating a hub in Maheshtala which is dominated by the minority tailors and they do fine ‘zari’ work. ‘Bhabisyat credit card’ will be made available to imams and muezzins for becoming self reliant do their own business,” Banerjee said as she detailed about her developmental work for the community. Banerjee increased financial allowance of Imams and muezzins and priests by R 500.

“We will arrange a loan of Rs 5 lakh if they want to do business in Bengal. The government will act as guarantor. of the loans, she added. Banerjee said in the state assembly recently that she has the allocated expenditure for the state Minority Affairs Department in the 2023-’24 financial year is Rs 4,233 crore against Rs 472 crore in 2010-’11.

She urged the Imams to stay calm and stay away from riots. “We will have to be patient another six months as BJP will stay in power for only next six months.” She also raised slogan, “BJP hatao and desh banchao” (Remove BJP and save the country.

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