Speak Bengali if you want to stay in Bengal, says Mamata
In what her critics called a bid to play to the Hindu Bengali gallery, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that those who chose to live in Bengal would have to speak Bengali. Vowing not to let Bengalis become homeless in Bengal, the Chief Minister said, “Though the BJP is trying to turn Bengal into a Gujarat, I will not allow them to do that.”
Addressing a meeting at Kanchrapara, the home ground of senior BJP leader Mukul Roy and his son Subhrasnghu an MLA who was recently expelled from the TMC, Mamata said the BJP is trying to “reproduce the Gujarat model in Bengal by targeting the minorities and the Bengalis,” vowing “I will not let that happen.”
Promising not to allow Bengalis to become foreigners in their own homeland, she said, “I will never allow Bengalis to become homeless in Bengal,” reminding those “who want to live in this State will have to speak in Bengal as we do when we go to other States.”
Attacking the BJP for injecting alien culture in the State, she said, “When we go to Punjab, we speak in Punjabi, when we go to Delhi, we speak in Hindi and even if I do not know Tamil I try to speak a word or two in Tamil whenever I go to Tamil Nadu,” she said, adding, “If you are in Bengal, you have to speak Bengali. We have to bring Bengali forward as a language.”
Mamata’s statement comes against the backdrop of her party TMC losing a large ground to the surging BJP in a polarised atmosphere in the Lok Sabha elections.
In an apparent reference to recent spate of violence in neighbouring Bhatpara and Naihati area dominated by BJP strongman and MP Arjun Singh who had just before the elections quit the TMC to join the saffron outfit, Mamata said “I will not allow the Bengali people to get assaulted by the people who come from outside the State.”
In the recently concluded elections her party got 22 seats as against BJP’s 18 out of a total of 42 seats.
Apart from the fleeing Hindu Bengali votes the TMC leadership has held the 50 lakh Hindi-speaking votes for the saffron outfit’s rise.
Saturday, 15 June 2019 | Saugar Sengupta | Kolkata
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