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Mamata Banerjee: Am against riots, won't allow any communal tension

IANS 20 Jun 2014, 15:37:50 IST
Kolkata: In a veiled attack on the BJP, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday vouched her support for the development of the minority communities in the state and strongly asserted her government will not tolerate communal tensions.

Addressing a function organised here by the state minority affairs ministry, Banerjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress supremo, fired a salvo at the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying "some people get charged up on hearing the word minority".

The chief minister, however, asserted her government will work for the equality of all castes and creeds and will help in mainstreaming of minorities.

"Some people get charged up on hearing the word minority. I don't understand why. I am a Bengali but when I am in Assam, I am a minority. There are some people who want to sow the seeds of division between people of various communities," she said, adding she is "against riots".

"It is the duty of the majority to come forward for the development of the minority. This is how a bridge of trust is built," she said while unveiling a slew of projects for minorities.

Banerjee attacked "some sections" for attempting to bring out the communal element "even in petty cases like theft".

"I abhor the idea of inciting communal tension. Criminals are criminals. We should not bring religion here," she said.

Countering accusations that she was biased towards a particular minority group, she said: "Some people allege that I do not work for Hindus. They should open their eyes and ears. I work for all, it is my constitutional duty."

"There is no place for violence in democracy. There is no place for conspiracy in development," she said.

The BJP's vote share in the state shot up to around 17 percent in the recent Lok Sabha polls. Bidding to shape up as the main opposition force in the state, it has increased its activities, eying the coming municipal polls, next year's Kolkata civic body elections and the 2016 assembly contest.

As a counter, the chief minister has also been attacking the BJP regularly by calling it a party "responsible for causing riots".

With the state having an estimated 25 percent Muslim vote, Banerjee has also been using every platform to ensure the votes of the community get consolidated behind her Trinamool Congress.