Mamata Banerjee’s rendition of Hindu chants was mocked today by her one-time aide turned BJP rival Suvendu Adhikari, who slammed the Bengal Chief Minister’s “I am a Hindu girl” comment.
On Tuesday, Mamata Banerjee had recited passages of “Chandi-path” or chants for Goddess Durga and declared: “You cannot teach me Hinduism. I have shown you that I know the mantras to Goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kali and Durga. It is not how you do it, memorising some lines before the election and dropping them at meetings.”
She was speaking at Nandigram, where she faces Suvendu Adhikari as her BJP rival in the election starting March 27.
Mr Adhikari, at a public meeting, came prepared with ammo.
He played a recording of the chants and then replayed Mamata Banerjee’s version. “Her Chandi-path was all mangled. Her mantras were wrong.”
Mr Adhikari rubbed it in by referring to Yogi Adityanath, the saffron-robed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister who is among the BJP’s star campaigners in Bengal.
“Yogi can chant correct mantras, he should be brought here once to correct Mamata Banerjee’s chants. I want Yogi-ji to come here and do that,” he said.
He continued his attack on his former boss, accusing her of using “Hindu dharma” for politics.
“Now she has stopped saying inshallah. She took offence to Jai Shri Ram chanted during the Netaji birth centenary celebration. Yesterday she wore a shoe inside a temple…She is a Banerjee – why is she having to say she is Hindu?” – Mr Adhikari wondered.
He also said he would visit temples too.
Mamata Banerjee last week announced that she would give up her Bhowanipore seat and contest from Nandigram, the stronghold of Mr Adhikari, in the Bengal election starting March 27.
After her workers’ rally at Nandigram town yesterday, she visited several temples and offered prayers.
Mr Adhikari — who won Nandigram in 2016 as a candidate of Ms Banerjee’s Trinamool — has repeatedly challenged the Chief Minister.
He has been using the Trinamool Congress’s “outsider” argument against the BJP on Ms Banerjee in Nandigram, an area 130 km from Kolkata where a campaign to save farmers’ land catapulted the Trinamool to power in Bengal. Mr Adhikari calls himself “bhoomiputra” (son of the soil). Today, he said again: “Mamata Banerjee does not even cast her vote in Nandigram, she
is an outsider there.”
After eight rounds of voting over April, Bengal’s poll results will be announced on May 2.