New Delhi: The BJP in West Bengal has attacked the Mamata Banerjee government over the announcement of bi-weekly lockdown dates for August, saying that it was done to “punish” the Bengali Hindus.
State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh told ThePrint that there is no lockdown on Eid (1 August) and Muharram (29 August), but on the bhoomi pujan ceremony day of the Ram temple, which will be held on 5 August.
“The whole lockdown decision is arbitrary and only to punish Bengali Hindus. What is the basis of choosing and omitting certain dates? There is no pattern. In a certain week, you choose lockdown on Thursday, but next week, you remove Thursday. They include Wednesday in some week, and Sunday in another. The only constant is Saturday because Bengali Hindus do puja on Saturday,” he said.
“There is no lockdown on Eid, Muharram but there is lockdown on Ram temple bhoomi pujan day (Wednesday 5 August). Why have you included Wednesday into the list? Or is she (Mamata) an astrologer when she decides there will be crowds on certain days?
Importance of 5 August
The Mamata government announced the 48-hour complete lockdown dates earlier this week after revising them thrice — dropping certain dates each time as they coincided with festivals.
The final lockdown dates now are — 5 August, 8 August, 16 August, 17 August, 23 August, 24 August and 31 August.
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During all these days, people will not be allowed to step out of their homes, except for emergencies.
5 August is important for the BJP for two reasons — the bhoomi pujan event and it also marks the one year of the Modi government’s Article 370 move.
On that day, the VHP has urged people across the country to light diyas, perform rituals such as havan, puja and pushpanjali, and blow conch shells as part of the bhoomi pujan.
The BJP has also planned virtual campaigns and e-rallies across the country to mark the one year of the scrapping of Article 370.
‘This is BJP’s way of playing politics of polarisation’
Barrackpore BJP MP Arjun Singh echoed Ghosh and said the lockdown in Bengal is “devoid of any scientific reasoning”.
“Mamata is deciding this complete lockdown without any scientific reasoning and to keep her support base happy. There should be some pattern. You can’t implement (lockdown) on your whims and fancies,” he said.
Singh also slammed the Bengal government for revising the lockdown dates thrice.
“Thousands of people might have suffered by the sudden changes in the lockdown schedule. For example, someone might have booked flight tickets or someone has medical emergencies. You can image what type of circus is going on in the administration when you change your announcements three times a day,” he added.
Trinamool Congress MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, however, said that this is the BJP’s way of playing politics of polarisation.
“We don’t do politics on religious lines. We have exempted both Raksha Bandhan and Eid from the lockdown list. The chief minister has taken the decisions keeping in mind of all these considerations,” she added.
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