Bengal assembly passes communalism resolution

West Bengal Legislative Assembly building

Kolkata, Jul 11=2, 2019: The West Bengal Assembly has adopted resolutions against rise of communalism in the eastern Indian state.

One resolution was moved on July 11 by the ruling Trinamul Congress and the other by the Communist Party of India and Congress combine.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asserts the resolutions are the “most credible” face in the fight against the menace.

Separate resolutions were moved in the House after Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee failed to convince the two opposition parties about the need for them to join hands with the TMC in fighting communalism instead of trying to score political brownie points against each other.

The Congress and CPI(M) have often slammed the TMC for the rise of communal forces in West Bengal, and said the BJP’’s impressive showing in the Lok Sabha polls was largely on account of polarisation along religious lines. The BJP, on its part, has been accusing Banerjee of “Muslim appeasement.”

The discussion on the two resolutions on “Maintenance of peace and communal harmony” was, however, held together.

“Communalism is one of the biggest threats our country is facing today. Chanting ”Jai Shri Ram” or ”Allahu Akbar” is not a crime if it is done inside temples and mosques. But it is a crime if it is done to hurt the sentiments of others. We need to fight against communalism,” state municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim said while speaking during the discussion.

Partha Chatterjee said instead of squabbling over who is more serious about fighting communalism “we all should fight this menace together”.

“No one can question the credibility of Mamata Banerjee in the fight against communalism. She is the most credible face in the fight against communalism,” he asserted.

Leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan of the Congress said it is true that communalism should be resisted with all force but nobody should forget the reasons behind its rise in West Bengal.

“It is under this government that communal forces have gained ground in Bengal. The Congress and the Left have been the most consistent in the fight against communalism. The state government has to act in order to instil faith that it is serious about fighting communalism in the state,” Mannan, who moved the joint resolution of the Congress and CPI(M), said.

Left Front legislature party leader Sujan Chakraborty echoed Mannan’s views.

BJP legislature party leader Manoj Tigga insisted that the resolutions were merely aimed at targeting the saffron party.

“The seeds of communalism were sown by the TMC government. Did BJP ask the TMC government to start paying allowances to Imams? If Imams are getting allowances, what is the fault of Hindu and Christian priests? We believe in the policy of ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas’,” Tigga said.

Despite the continued differences between the TMC and the Congress-Left combine over who was behind the rise of communal forces in the state, it has been decided that the leaders of all these parties will sit together on July 12 in the presence of Speaker Biman Banerjee and draft a joint resolution that would be sent to the Centre.

Banerjee had tried to reach out to the Congress and the Left last month and asked them to join her in the fight against the BJP at the national level.

The two parties had, however, rejected her appeal, insisting that her policies were responsible for the saffron party”s growth in the state.


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