TC, BJP battle it out over Ram Navami fest

KOLKATA: Ram Navami was celebrated on a massive scale across West Bengal on Sunday, with the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition BJP leaving no stone unturned in their celebrations this year.
While the Trinamool leaders termed their Ram Navami celebrations a symbol of harmony among the people, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) termed the ruling party’s participation as a “victory of the Hindus”.
Defying the Bengal government’s ban on carrying weapons in public, several armed rallies were taken out by the Sangh affiliates in various parts of the state including Birbhum, West Midnapore, Howrah and certain places here, where men, women and even minors waved saffron flags and walked with sharp weapons like swords, knives and axes while chanting the name of Lord Ram.
A number of heavyweight state BJP leaders were also seen participating in the procession with weapons. State unit President Dilip Ghosh rallied with a sword in West Midnapore while state women wing President Locket Chatterjee was seen carrying a trident. Party’s national secretary Rahul Sinha was also seen brandishing a weapon at a rally.
Police seized arms from a rally in central Kolkata’s Maniktala area where the rally organisers were seen brandishing swords.
However, none of the rallyists were detained or arrested so far in the city.
As many as six major Ram Navami rallies were taken out in the city and adjoining suburbs under strict police vigil. Several smaller rallies by the local units of right-wing organisations were also held.
In a bid to counter the BJP, the Trinamool also organised several colourful Ram Navami processions in every district where activists were seen carrying pictures of Ram and playing devotional songs.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee conveyed her best wishes to the people on the occasion.