Sword-wielding RSS and BJP workers storm streets of West Bengal on Ram Navami; stumps Mamata Banerjee in her own constituency

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has emerged as the staunches critic of what she calls “BJP’s politics of communalism and polarisation”. However, the party seems unfazed by such attacks by Bannerjee. Using Ram Navami to showcase the Hindutva strength, youth cadre of BJP, RSS and Vishwa Hindu Parishad hit the streets to mark the festival. That’s not all. The ostensible show of the saffron colour along with swords, these young boys took out as many as 150 rallies in some of the more communaly sensitive areas of West Bengal.

The chants of  “jai Shri Ram, jai bajrangbali and Har Har Mahadev ” reverberated in Kharagpur, Islampur and Kolkata. Even Mamata Banerjee’s own constituency Bhowanipur wasn’t spared. The idea behind this massive celebration is to stall “jehadi forces”, according to the RSS. The saffron brigade accused Mamata Banerjee of joining hands with “anti-national forces”. They accuse that fundamental forces are on the rise in West Bengal and alleged demographic changes in border districts due to illegal infiltration.

Mamata Banerjee clearly hasn’t taken to this surge of saffron brigade in the state very kindly. In counter allegations, she accused the BJP of trying to create “communal divide”.  She also asked BJP to not try and “hijack” Ram Navami as their festival. Interestingly, Trinamool Congress also tried to steal BJP’s thunder by organising it’s own events on Ram Navami across the state, particularly in Birbhum. Indian Express quoted district president and TMC strongman Anubrata Mondal as saying that in his district alone there were 127 Bajangbali/Hanuman temples. He also said that all legislators and other party workers took part in the celebrations with much fanfare.

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