The politics and politicians in West Bengal have not come to the rest even after the Lok Sabha elections are over. In fact, the controversies and tensions are even more heating up after the elections got over. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has impressively won the elections in the state where it won 18 seats out of 48 constituencies in comparison of 2014 elections where it could manage to secure only 2 seats. The Trinamool Congress (TMC), on the other hand, lost 12 seats in the 2019 elections.
Looking at the results, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC Chief seems frustrated and consequently losing her cool when men shout “Jai Shree Ram” slogans while her motorcade passes through. This happened as her convoy was passing through Bhatpara area of North 24 Parganas district on May 30. The video of the incident went viral which showed how the furious Banerjee came out of her car and asked her security officials to note down the name of the men.
“What do you think of yourself? You will come from other states, stay here and abuse us? I will not tolerate this. How dare you all abuse me? All of your names and details will be noted down,” Mamata was heard saying in the video.
A video got surfaced while the Lok Sabha poll campaign was going on, showing Banerjee losing her temper as some men chanted “Jai Shri Ram” when her motorcade was passing through Chandrakona in West Midnapore district. According to the police, three BJP men were detained in connection with the incident.
#WATCH North 24 Parganas: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee gets off her car and confronts people chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans, Banerjee says’These are all outsiders and BJP people, they are criminals and were abusing me. They are not from Bengal.’ pic.twitter.com/haGjQmQYlv
— ANI (@ANI) May 30, 2019
In that video, which too had gone viral on the social media, Banerjee was seen angrily coming out of her car and accusing the men of mouthing abuses. This episode continued when the BJP had decided to send 10 lakh ‘Jai Shri Ram’ postcards to Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief and Chief Minister of Bengal, Mamata Banerjee.
“We have decided to send 10 lakh postcards with ‘Jai Shri Ram’ written on them to the chief minister’s residence,” newly elected BJP MP from Barrackpur Arjun Singh told news agency PTI.
The decision evoked when several BJP workers who were chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ outside the residence of the TMC leader and Minister for Fire Department, Sujit Bose, in Kanchrapara were lathi-charged by the police on June 2.
The TMC supremo has also recently come up with a counter slogan to ‘Jai Shree Ram’ with ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Jai Bangla’. These slogans were also raised at protest rally held by TMC in the presence of Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
“Their slogan is Jai Shri Ram, ours is Jai Hind. I say Jai Shri Ram when I pray. But on the political field, I say Jai Hind,” said Abhishek, as BJP MP Arjun Singh and his supporters have started sending Jai Shri Ram postcards to Mamata.
BJP MP Babul Supriyo meanwhile, has taken up the initiative of sending ‘Get well soon’ postcards to Mamata. While, Mamata has said her party would send 20 lakh postcards with Jai Bangla and Jai Hind written on them in response to the BJP’s 10 lakh Jai Shri Ram postcards.
Union minister and a BJP MP from West Bengal Babul Supriyo has jumped into the fray threatening to flood Mamata Banerjee’s mailbox with Get Well cards.
— Babul Supriyo (@SuPriyoBabul) May 31, 2019
Moreover, some sadhus from Varanasi have promised to send copies of Shri Ramcharitmanas to Banerjee. Mahant Balak Das of Varanasi has sent a copy of Shri Ramcharitmanas to her asserting that reading the revered Hindu scripture will definitely purify her mind.
“Her ‘Buddhi’ might get purified by reading the Ramayana. She is after all those who chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and this shows her mindset. Her hatred towards Ram will one day be the reason for her fall. I have posted a copy of Shri Ramcharitmanas and requested her to read it as it is the only way out to change her mindset, know Lord Ram and purify her mind,” said Mahant Balak Das of Patalpuri Temple in Varanasi. “I am ready to guide and help her in understanding the Ramayana, which is why I have sent her my mobile number along. I will keep sending her copies of Ramayana,” he added.
The ongoing political war between CM Mamata Banerjee and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in West Bengal has created a crisis situation for the Department of Posts as well. Over the past few days, thousands of postal cards have been piled up at the Kalighat Post office in South Kolkata. “Jai Shree Ram” is written on these post cards and has been transported to Mamata Banerjee.
Mamata Banerjee’s home comes under the purview of the same post office. Sources in the Post Office have reported that, “usually, 30 to 40 postcards and registers letters were used for CM Mamata Banerjee. But, suddenly, it has increased manifold.” He has said that these postcards are now 10% of the total mail being handled by his office every day. Meanwhile, the BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargia has said that the party would campaign with two slogans in Bengal – Jai Maha Kali and Jai Shri ram.
It is believed that by including ‘Jai Maha Kali’ in the party’s list of slogans will help them to further connect with the people of Bengal and emerge as a possible alternative to the TMC in the state. However, Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek has hit out on BJP for shifting on ‘Jai Maha Kali’ and said, “They (BJP) have decided to change the slogan from Jai Sri Ram to Jai Maha Kali as the TRP of Ram is on a downward slide. They are mixing religion with politics.”
Moreover, retaliating to the postcard episode where BJP has sent Jai Shri Ram postcards to the TMC, the TMC now have sent 10,000 postcards with Vande Mataram, Jai Hind, and Jai Bangla written on them to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The slogan exchange war doesn’t seem an easy end to it. Things like these are a part of an ongoing political war which has no end to it.