The influential Imam of Kolkata, Pirzada Taha Siddiqui of Furfura Sharif has slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for granting funds to Durga Pooja.
According to the reports, the Imam said, “Those who accuse the BJP of provoking communal feelings, sometimes they themselves get involved in it. The Trinamool has blamed the BJP for the recent blasts at Dum Dum, which is an example”, said Imam. This criticism by the influential Imam comes in the wake of the decision of the Mamata Banerjee’s government to assign Rs. 28 crore state funds to the Durga Pooja committees.
The Imam, while speaking at a rally organised at the Tipu Sultan Masjid in front of the hundreds of Muslim youth to protest against the government’s decision said, “We’ve not come here with swords and lathis, We came to voice our demands. What’s wrong with that?”. He went on to criticise both the Chief Minister and the state police for trying to stop him from expressing his concerns.
Addressing the Muslim youth, Kamaruzzaman, the General Secretary of the Bengal Minority Youth Federation, said, “India is a secular country. The government should not sponsor any religious program”. At the same rally, he also reportedly demanded the Mamata Government to provide two lakh rupees for each madrasa for its maintenance and convenience.
Imam Pirzada went on to say that, “I have no objection to the money given by the Mamta Government to celebrate Durga Pooja, but the government should also help other communities”. Siddiqui called the Mamta as a ‘guardian of Bengal’ and asked her to treat all the citizens in a similar manner. He warned Mamata Banerjee for playing divisive politics by referring to the recent Damdam bomb blasts. “I am against riots and divisive politics. The Left had voted for our votes by showing fear of riot among Muslims. Now Trinamool BJP is scared of us playing cards”, said the Imam.
The Mamata Banerjee government is known for her proximity towards the Muslim leaders and often accused by the opposition parties for playing divisive politics. In a recent incident, a group of influential Imams and scholars from across the state, extremely close to the Chief Minister, had taken out a protest rally against the government and demanded hike in stipend to Imams and State funds for at least 10,000 Madrasas across the state.