Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)
Didi unfazed by ₹11-L bounty on her head
Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday dismissed as a regular affair a ₹11-lakh bounty on her head by a BJP youth wing leader and vowed to spread the Trinamool Congress’s reach to India’s heartland.
Her comments came shortly after the Centre gave her a free hand to take legal action against Yogesh Varshney, a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, who offered the bounty over what he said was the Bengal government’s bias against Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti.
“I am regularly targeted with offensive words. But, the more they say such things, the more we will progress,” Banerjee said at a public rally in Domkal of Murshidabad district.
“From Bengal to Jharkhand to Uttar Pradesh...we will spread out towards Delhi”.
The TMC also sent out a series of tweets from Mamata’s rally.
“I participate in Durga Puja. I also participate in Eid, I go to church. Who are you to stop me?” Mamata was quoted as saying. “You can abuse me as much as you want. I pray to God to forgive them, they do not know what they are saying.”
In Kolkata, a Muslim cleric known for announcing fatwas against political leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and author Salman Rushdie, made a counter-offer of ₹22 lakh for the BJP youth wing leader’s head.
“Mamata Banerjee is our respected leader and I consider her as my sister...It is expected that fascist RSS-BJP will be speaking the language of hoodlums,” Nur-ur Rehman Barkati, imam of Kolkata’s Tipu Sultan Shahi Mosque and one of the most influential Muslim clerics in the state, told HT.
The issue was raised in both Houses of Parliament by TMC members with all major political parties condemning Varshney.