Post-2014, one remarkable change that has been observed among the opposition parties is that they all have constantly attempted to prove their so-called ‘Hindu credentials’ by openly displaying their love for Hindu culture and traditions. It was first started by Congress President Rahul Gandhi through his temple runs, later picked up by various other leaders of the opposition parties.
This time, the West Bengal Chief Minister has attempted to flaunt her respect for Hindu culture, as she has now invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah for a Sanskrit mantra-chanting competition at Kolkatta.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata: Puja does not only mean sporting a tilak, Amit babu and Modi babu come have a competition of mantras with me. Let’s see who knows more Sanskrit mantras. #WestBengal pic.twitter.com/sMKsxpXstL
— ANI (@ANI) March 19, 2019
Addressing a rally on Tuesday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee challenged both Modi and Shah to display their Sanskrit knowledge in front of Mamata Banerjee. “Puja does not only mean sporting a tilak, Amit babu and Modi babu. Come have a competition of mantras with me. Let’s see who knows more Sanskrit mantras,” Mamata said, at a rally in Kolkata.
However, the rules and format of the Sanskrit mantra chanting competition are yet to be discussed and finalised. There are no reports yet whether there will be any rewards for the winner of the chanting competition.
Mamata Banerjee, who had, till recently, grabbed headlines for imposing restrictions on Durga Pooja idol immersion as it would disturb Muslim processions has now rushed to prove her cultural credentials.
Last year, Mamata Banerjee’s government had tried to appease Hindus by giving out 10,000 rupees each to the Durga Puja committees in the state.
It is notable here that while Mamata Banerjee now calls for a ‘competition’, her government had tried every trick to block BJP’s rallies in her state. Not only the BJP was stopped from conducting its Rath Yatra, BJP leaders like Yogi Adityanath and Shivraj Chouhan were also hindered by Mamata’s government from addressing the public there.