KOLKATA: Electoral politics can help unravel latent talent, often to the amusement of many. So, it was no surprise when Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited a tea stall, interacted with the local residents and served them a hot cuppa.
Mamata hit the ground in Nandigram on Tuesday, where she will file her nomination papers on March 10.
Keen to underscore that she, too, can play the Hindu card, she recited ‘Chandi Path’ at a public rally, a ritual which she claims she performs every day before leaving the house.
“The BJP cannot play the Hindu card against me. They have forgotten that I am a daughter of a Hindu family,’’ she asserted.
“Hinduism is taught by Vivekananda. Hindu means Chamunda Kali. It encompasses Shantosi Ma, Durga Ma, Saraswati and Lakshmi Ma. The BJP thinks that only they are Hindu. Let me recite ‘Chandi Path’ for the people of Nandigram,” she stated, warming up to her theme.
Keen to get rid of the ‘outsider’ tag in Nandigram and allay the misgiving that she mollycoddles the minorities, she told the gathering. ‘‘I heard some people are calling me an outsider. I am amazed. I was born and brought up in the neighboring Birbhum district, and the person who has dubbed me an outsider was also not born here. Today I have become an outsider, and those coming from Gujarat have become 'insiders' in Bengal," Banerjee said.
The saffron camp has always held it against Mamata for not allowing Durga idol immersion during Muharram. It remains to be seen whether the TMC leader can ‘reinvent’ herself and pander to the BJP's hardcore Hindu voter.