Kolkata: A state-based minority forum on Friday, November 23, accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of trying to disturb the peace and communal harmony in West Bengal in the name of organising “Rath Yatra” in the state and demanded the proposed event be cancelled.
Terming the saffron outfit and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi “anti-Muslim”, the forum claimed the real intention behind Modi’s visit to a number of mosques this year is an attempt to gain electoral benefits in the 2019 general elections.
“BJP is a communal party. The proposed ‘Rath Yatras’ by the BJP in West Bengal should be cancelled. They want to disturb the harmony in the state, which is currently peaceful. Their only intention is to create unrest here,” Trinamool Congress MP and Chairman of the All India Minority Forum Idris Ali told reporters here.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party BJP do not like the Muslims. Most of their activities are against the Muslims and Dalits. But now the honourable PM is going to the mosques and ‘dargas’. What is his intention? Is it because of the impending election or something else?” he said.
Ali also criticised the BJP-led Central government’s decision to change the names of places that earlier had an Islamic name of historical significance.
The state BJP leadership is scheduled to hold three ‘Rath Yatras’ across West Bengal on December 7, 9 and 14, which will cover all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state before converging in Kolkata in the second week of January.
All three rallies are likely to be inaugurated by BJP President Amit Shah.
The forum also celebrated the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, and demanded a university after the name of Nanak in the national capital.
“This meeting is held on Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary to celebrate the communal harmony and respect for each other’s religion. Nanak’s teachings on religious tolerance are unparallel. I think the Central government should open a university after his name in Delhi,” Ali said.