Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, is under fire from the opposition for “praising” the RSS and claiming that not all members of the Sangh Pariwar were evil. That specific right-wing organization disliked the BJP’s policies.
Top opposition groups like the Left, BJP, Congress, and AIMIM have criticized her and cast doubt on her commitment to secularism since she praised the RSS.
Several prominent opposition figures have launched a vicious assault on the leader of the Trinamool Congress, labeling her a “product of the RSS” who had previously referred to her “Goddess Durga” in addition to calling her “best friend.”
Sujan Chakrabarty, a senior member of the CPI(M), led the opposition’s response, branding the chief minister an “opportunist” and reminding everyone that “we the Left parties had from the beginning warning one and all about her actual colors… She is the product of the RSS in Bengal we told you… not it is being confirmed in her statements… she cannot be trusted in the fight against communal forces.”
However, a top leader of the RSS previously saw in her the greatest friend, according to Md. Salim, a prominent CPI(M) leader.
The CPI-M leader recalled how Mamata Banerjee had recently camped out for two days in East Midnapore to ensure that RSS president Mohan Bhagwat received the proper administrative care while paying a visit to Keshiari in nearby West Midnapore.
The RSS’s ability to acquire sizable parcels of land in Bengal’s districts to house its training centers also baffled the Marxist leadership.
Even Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was referred to by Md Salim as “the RSS’s Durga.” The BJP said it did not need licenses from Banerjee, while the AIMIM, Congress, and Left criticized Mamata for what they saw as Banerjee’s “opportunism.”
Instead of responding to her left-handed compliments, the RSS cited Bengal’s history of political violence and demanded action.
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chairman Asaduddin Owaisi of Hyderabad launched the scathing criticism on Thursday, claiming that “in 2003 too, she had dubbed RSS ‘patriots,’ (and) in turn Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh had nicknamed her Durga.”
In the most recent assembly elections, Owaisi’s party, which stood in opposition to both the TMC and the BJP, failed to gain a single seat, even in Bengali districts with a plurality of Muslims, and he cynically said, “Hope TMC’s ‘Muslim faces’ thank her for her honesty and constancy.”
However, the TMC attempted to downplay Owaisi’s statement by asserting that it was unnecessary to demonstrate to him that the party was secular.
“This is not the first time that she (Mamata Banerjee) has lauded the RSS,” said Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
Banerjee had a tumultuous history with the alliance, often criticizing it over disinvestment and other problems, and had linked herself with the BJP-led NDA during the late Atal Behari Vajpayee’s stint as Prime Minister before severing ties.