In a bizarre statement targeting the BJP over NRC, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has compared illegal Bangladeshi immigrants to Hilsa fish and Sondesh, a Bengali sweetmeat. “Is ilish an infiltrator or a refugee? Is Jamdani an infiltrator or a refugee? What about sandesh, or mishti doi?” Banerjee asked during an interaction with journalists.
“They (the BJP) must not forget that speaking Bengali is not a crime. It is the fifth most spoken language in the world. What is BJP’s problem with (West) Bengal? Are they scared of the intellect of the Bengalis, their culture? They must not forget that (West) Bengal is the cultural mecca of the country,” PTI quoted Banerjee as saying.
Her statements came in response to Amit Shah’s scathing attack on the Trinamool Congress during BJP’s rally on Khudiram Bose’s death anniversary where the BJP President accused her of supporting Bangladeshis due to her votebank politics.
Amit Shah’s speech at the rally in Kolkata has made it clear that illegal immigration and Hindu rights will be the major agenda for the BJP in West Bengal in response to Mamata Banerjee’s attempt to brand them an anti-Bengali party.
It appears that Mamata Banerjee may have committed a grave error as even members of her own party have quit following her statements opposing the NRC. And it has given the BJP the lead on a volatile issue that appears to be a huge concern for Indians across ethnic lines.