Malda: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a public meeting in Malda district, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.
Malda: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a public meeting in Malda district, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.

Kolkata: A day before Union Home Minister Amit Shah visits West Bengal’s Coochbehar to inaugurate the Bharatiya Janata Party's fourth ‘Parivartan Yatra’ ahead of the assembly polls, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday took a dig at her opponents from a public rally in the area, alleging that the BJP leaders think of themselves as gods, leading ‘Yatras’ across the state.

“The BJP is playing communal politics. Everyone knows that the famous 'Rath Yatra' is synonymous with Lord Jagannath. The BJP is dividing people along religious lines and the leaders think they are mightier than even Lord Jagannath. It's spoiling the sanctity of the 'Rath Yatra',” said the West Bengal Chief Minister from a rally at Raiganj in North Dinajpur district.

Taking another potshot, Mamata said that in the name of 'Rath Yatra', BJP leaders are travelling around in roaming luxury "ten-star hotels" [referring to the raths] and are treating themselves abundantly.

"There's biryani, meat, pulao, kebabs and other assortments inside the rath! From 'khanapina' (feast) to entertainment, everything is ready. It's like a ten-star hotel!" Mamata said.

Addressing another rally in Malda, the TMC supremo claimed that the BJP is trying to control West Bengal from Delhi and Gujarat and also mentioned that she won’t let it happen.

Incidentally, BJP national president JP Nadda had in two different occasions flagged off three 'rath yatras' under the ‘Parivartan Yatra’ initiative from Nadia district's Nabadwip on February 6 and from Birbhum and Jhargram on February 9.

According to poll analysts, the BJP through their 'Parivartan Yatra' can yield good results in the upcoming state assembly polls as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is still a strong presence in West Bengal.

Meanwhile, the Calcutta High Court on February 9 refused to stay the BJP’s ‘Parivartan Yatra’, delivering a sense of relief to the saffron camp.

A Division Bench of Justices Rajesh Bindal and Aniruddha Ray did not accept lawyer Ram Prasad Sarkar’s plea to stay the ‘Rathyatra’ over the ongoing pandemic.

Notably, these 'yatras' are scheduled to touch all 294 assembly constituencies across West Bengal and is likely to culminate in Kolkata where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be holding a public rally in the famous Brigade parade ground.

It is pertinent to mention that similar 'rath yatras' were organised by the saffron camp in 2018, just ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in the subsequent year, but the Mamata-led TMC government had not provided permission to the BJP to hold the yatra.

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Free Press Journal