Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, who has been facing flak from the BJP over her recent controversial comments on Goddess Kali, has asserted that the saffron party is not the custodian of Hindu deities and it shouldn't teach Bengalis how to worship the goddess.
She said the BJP can't impose its views, based on ways of worshipping deities in North India, on people of other parts of the country who have different rituals that are in vogue for the last 2,000 years.
Speaking to local news channel on July 7, Moitra said, "I think I acted as a mature politician. For long, we had avoided the issue of BJP imposing its own version of Hinduism, which is based on established norms of North India. The party should desist from imposing it on people of other parts of the country such as West Bengal where Hindus follow their well-established rituals for centuries. Who is the BJP to teach us how to conduct puja of Goddess Kali in a particular way?"
She added, "Neither Lord Ram nor Lord Hanuman solely belongs to the BJP. Has the party taken the lease of Hindu dharma?"
Mahua Moitra on Kaali poster row
The senior TMC leader stirred controversy when she, on July 5, at a conclave organised by a media house said that she has every right as an individual to imagine the deity as a "meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess, as every person has his or her unique way of offering prayers", when asked about the row over a film poster of Kali holding a cigarette.
The West Bengal BJP sought the arrest of the Krishnanagar MP for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus with her contentious remarks.
Mahua Moitra on backlash by BJP
"It is a party of outsiders that tried to impose its Hindutva politics but was snubbed by the electorate. BJP should not teach us how to worship Maa Kali. Being a Kali bhakta (devotee), I know how to worship Kali. We had been worshipping the goddess in the same way for the past 2,000 years," said the MP.
She also alleged that BJP was trying to divert the attention from now-suspended spokesperson Nupur Sharma's controversial remarks to her remarks on Kali. She asserted that the party won't succeed.
Speaking on the cases filed against her, she said she will challenge the respective state governments to "give in writing in an affidavit to the court about offerings made to Goddess Kali."
"BJP desperately wants to pin me down as I fiercely protest its misdeeds but I know its strategy won't work," she said.
TMC leadership, however, distanced itself from MP's remarks in a social media post. When asked about the same, Mahua said that she is "loyal soldier" of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee and if there are issues, they will be solved internally.