VHP all set for Bengal Janmashtami blitz

 Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has decided to hold Janmashtami celebrations in at least 1500 places across the state (DH Photo)

In a bid to consolidate Hindu votes in West Bengal ahead of the Assembly elections in 2021 the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) has decided to hold Janmashtami celebrations in at least 1500 places across the state. This is more than double the number of such celebrations held by the right-wing organisation in Bengal last year. Compared to the handful of Janmashtami processions it held in Bengal last year this time VHP will take out at least 500 of such processions.

Speaking to DH the organisational secretary of VHP in West Bengal Sachindranath Sinha said that the move is aimed at “unifying the Hindus” of the state where appeasement politics has reached an alarming level.

“We seek to unify the Hindus of West Bengal through Janmashtami. Appeasement politics has reached an alarming level in Bengal. This year we will hold at least 1500 Janmashtami celebrations in the state,” said Sinha.

He also said that VHP has chosen Janmashtami as one of the key ways to reach out to the Hindus of the state.

VHP will hold Janamashtami celebrations for three consecutive days in Bengal starting from August 23.

The development comes at a time when BJP has achieved its best-ever performance in Bengal in the Lok Sabha elections by bagging 18 seats. The slogan of Jai Shree Ram has become a burning political issue since the Lok Sabha elections with BJP using it as means to provoke and challenge Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Ever since 2014, the activities of RSS and VHP has significantly increased in the state with both the organisations playing a key role in organising Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti celebrations. While they claimed these activities as apolitical the TMC leadership has dubbed it as “polarising tactics.” Armed Ram Navami rallies became a bone of contention between TMC and BJP with the state government slapping several cases against BJP leaders including state president Dilip Ghosh for taking part in them.

However, TMC has also tried to counter the BJP, RSS and VHP by organising several Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti rallies in the state for the last two years.

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