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‘I was asked to condemn those chanting Jai Shri Ram’ — Trivedi lists his Trinamool troubles

In interview with ThePrint, former Trinamool MP Dinesh Trivedi says he was forced to leave the party due to a number of ‘humiliations’ he faced over the past six years.  

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Kolkata: Those objecting to the Jai Shri Ram chant will never be accepted in the country, former Trinamool MP Dinesh Trivedi said while explaining the troubles he faced in the party. 

In an interview with ThePrint, the one-time railways minister said he was forced to leave the Trinamool Congress due to a number of “humiliations” he faced over the past six years. “Instead of listening to my objection to corruption and violence, I had to face humiliation,” he said.  

Trivedi quit the TMC, the ruling party in West Bengal, in a dramatic speech on the floor of the Rajya Sabha on 12 February. 

He told ThePrint Friday that the party put him in an embarrassing situation on a number of occasions, including asking him “to condemn people who chanted Jai Shri Ram”. 

Jai Shri Ram represents Indian culture,” Trivedi told ThePrint. “When we say Jai Shri Ram, we respect and value the maryada Purushottam Ram. Anyone who has objection to that cannot be accepted by India.”

Trivedi added that Jai Shri Ram has never been a “political slogan” but in West Bengal has become an “expression of the people’s resentment against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s appeasement and vote-bank politics”. 

Mamata Banerjee, in a January event to celebrate Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, was irked by a section of the audience that shouted Jai Shri Ram as she was about to speak. 

Calling it a “political slogan”, the chief minister said government events should have some dignity and refused to deliver her speech. Trinamool Congress leaders also condemned the slogan shouting and called it an “insult” to the chief minister. 

Trivedi, who is a founder-member of the Trinamool Congress, said a section of people are “venting their anxiety, frustration and resentment by shouting Jai Shri Ram”.

Also read: ‘Disillusioned with Mamata, Trinamool’, Bengal MLA & Ankhi Das’ father-in-law quits politics

‘Leader has lost control’ 

Trivedi told ThePrint that the Trinamool should take stock and analyse why so many of its MLA and leaders were resigning from the party.  

“I mentioned a word suffocation in my speech in Parliament. Instead of abusing leaders who quit the party, they should introspect,” he said. “The party’s control has shifted to someone from the leader. She hardly has any hold over her colleagues now.”

He added that he was not comfortable with some of the things he was asked to do in the party. “The leaders in charge of the Parliamentary party used to routinely ask me to abuse the prime minister and the home minister,” Trivedi alleged. “Why should I abuse anyone? That is not my culture. In fact, that is not Bengal’s culture. There are several issues to talk about in the Parliament, why abuse?” 

Reacting to the allegations by his former colleagues that he never tried to negotiate or discuss the concerns he was having in the party, he said had tried to reach out and communicate with the party’s top leadership but did not get any positive response. 

Instead, he added, his suggestions to the party were also shot down, especially with regard to tainted leaders caught on camera taking bribes during the Narada sting operation of 2016.

“I requested her (Mamata) to keep the accused persons away for some time and let the law take its own course,” he said. “For saying that, I was barred from campaigning in my constituency during the 2016 elections.” 

‘Bengali ethos has no concept of outsiders’

In what is set to add to the speculation that Trivedi may join the BJP, he said that TMC leaders terming those of the national party as “outsiders” was a “deviation from Bengal’s ethos”. 

“Top leaders who started political careers at a very young age, and use filthy language of abuse, do not reflect the Bengali culture and ethos. They are outsiders,” he said. “They are born in Bengali families but they do not know what Bengal stands for. They are the actual outsider.” 

Mamata Banerjee also terms all top BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and party president J.P. Nadda, as “outsiders”. 

“They should learn from Pranab Mukherjee, who is one of the tall leaders of the country. He was sent to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. Did they call him an outsider?” Trivedi asked. “I would rather say that the Trinamool leaders, who are using such  filthy language, are the actual outsiders.” 

On the chief minister challenging Shah and Modi to compete with her on chanting mantras, Trivedi said, “It is really sad to see that the chief minister needs to chant mantras to establish her Hindutva. What is the need of that? One may not chant the mantra but one understands Gita and Mahabharata, that is enough. People do not need to recite mantras, they need to understand and believe in them.”

Trivedi is yet to join the BJP, and has not spoken openly about his future political plans, though there is speculation that he will be inducted into the national party soon.  

Also read: Mamata’s ex-minister says Saradha is country’s worst scam, bats for Rakesh Asthana in new book


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  1. Mr Trivedi felt suffocated while in the TMC. Wait till you get inducted into the BJP. You will require permission from the high command even to relieve yourself. Why should religious slogans be a part of any political rally? We are a secular state and voicing any religious slogan violates that principle. As regards corruption, there doesn’t seem to be any dearth of it in any political party that you can name. Face it, youare simply a “weathervane politician” spurred by winds favourable to you.

    • Ha!! Ha!! Indian secularism is ONLY for Hindus!! After Muslim & British exploitative & fascist colonial rule, India got independence but Muslims tore apart the nation! Most of those who voted for Islamic terrorist state stayed in India!! Hindu temples are in govt. control while mosques & churches are FREE!!! So what secularism are you talking about??!!

  2. The noticeable decline started in Bengal in the 60s with violence that got institutionalized during the CPM rule. A state with all the natural recourses and heavy industries with in 150 miles of Calcutta of those days, and a busy port on the Hugli was brought to a grinding halt by CPM. The hope was that TMC will reverse that trend, but it only got consolidated.
    All the talent of Bengal is out side Bengal with just 2 and half English speakers left behind.
    CPM as a policy did not want thinkers but even TMC followed on the same path with an addition of sycophancy.
    No matter how strong the lungs are the suffocation is inevitable, may be Mr. Mitra is the next, let us ask the Quizzmaster

  3. The Real fight will be between two “SECULAR PARTIES ” WHO DEPEND on “SECULAR VOTERS ” lead by two “SECULAR IDEOLOGUES ” i.e. DIDI and AKBARUDDIN who promise final solution for IDOL WORSHIPPERS.

    HINDUS believe in education and science and prosperity and don’t believe in conversion and must vote for a party which will not discriminate against HINDUS and protect their progressive culture from RIOTERS AND PROSELYTIZERS.

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