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West Bengal celebrates Ram Navami; BJP slams TMC over Murshidabad explosion

The leader of the opposition, Suvendu Adhikari, criticised the West Bengal Police for failing to protect the ‘Ram Bhakts’. He alleged that the attack was the result of the “provocative remarks” of the TMC supremo and the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
nirban Bhaumik
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 18:21 IST
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 18:21 IST

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Kolkata: A woman was injured in an explosion during the Ram Navami celebration in Murshidabad on Wednesday as the BJP and the Trinamool Congress competed against each other in West Bengal to make the most of the religious ceremony ahead of the first of the seven phases of voting for the Lok Sabha elections.

The BJP condemned the alleged violent attack on the Ram Navami procession in Murshidabad and cited it to slam the Trinamool Congress. The leader of the opposition, Suvendu Adhikari, criticised the West Bengal Police for failing to protect the ‘Ram Bhakts’. He alleged that the attack was the result of the “provocative remarks” of the TMC supremo and the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the Ram Navami celebration.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad led the Sangh Parivar in holding nearly 5000 events in villages and cities across West Bengal to celebrate Ram Navami on Wednesday – just two days before three of the 42 parliamentary constituencies of the state will go to polls in the first phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP candidates took part in the processions across the state.

To ensure that the BJP alone cannot reap the political dividends of the Ram Navami ahead of the elections, the TMP candidates in several constituencies also took out processions on the occasion.

“Greetings to all on the auspicious occasion of Ram Navami. I appeal to maintain peace, prosperity, and development for all,” Banerjee posted on X early on Wednesday.

Adhikari attended two Ram Navami processions at New Town and Uluberia. The TMC minister Arup Roy and the party's Howrah Lok Sabha constituency candidate Prasun Banerjee walked with the processions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday accused the TMC government in West Bengal of not only opposing the Ram Navami celebration in the state but also of allowing miscreants to pelt stones at rallies taken out on the occasion. He hailed the Calcutta High Court’s order on Monday granting permission to the VHP to hold a procession on the occasion of Ram Navami. He called the order of the High Court a ‘victory of truth’.

Banerjee has been alleging over the past few days that the BJP might try to trigger riots during the Ram Navami celebrations. She urged all citizens not to get provoked and fall into the trap.

The celebration of Ram Navami gained popularity in West Bengal over the past few years along with the BJP’s growing clout in the state. The sangh parivar has been holding events across the state on the occasion with the participation of the local BJP leaders. The celebration, however, often stoked communal tension, with violence breaking out in 2017, 2018 and 2023.

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Published 17 April 2024, 18:21 IST

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