From Santa Claus to Chaitanya, Bengal Ministers eulogise Mamata Banerjee as saintly person

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West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu.

West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu.
| Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI

As political activity picks up pace in West Bengal ahead of Lok Sabha election, senior Trinamool Congress leaders are heaping lavish praise on party chairperson Mamata Banerjee and comparing her with saints and religious figures.

Days after Kolkata Mayor and Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim called Ms. Banerjee Santa Claus, West Bengal Education Minister Bratya Basu described the Chief Minister as an “incarnation of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu”.

“Chaitanya Dev always spoke of the unity of all religions. He never advocated for dividing people on the basis of religion. Similarly, Mamata Banerjee also believes in inclusiveness. She never encourages divisive politics. So if there is a perfect incarnation of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in West Bengal, it is Mamata Banerjee,” the Minister is heard saying in a video.

Two days ago, the Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation had described Ms. Banerjee as “our very own Santa”. “Mamata Banerjee is our very own Santa, who helps needy parents in continuing the education of their girl child through the Kanyashree scheme. When parents don’t have money to get their daughters married, she comes with a Rupashree card to help the family,” the Minister said.

The remarks by ruling party leaders have evoked strong reaction by the Opposition including the BJP party brass. BJP leader Dilip Ghosh said that the Trinamool leadership was insulting religious figures by making such comparisons. CPI(M) State Secretary Sujan Chakraborty said that these comments are a reflection of how low the Trinamool leadership could stoop.

This is not the first time that Trinamool leaders have compared Ms. Banerjee to religious and spiritual personalities. Last year, Trinamool MLA Nirmal Majhi had described Ms. Banerjee as an incarnation of Sarada Devi or Maa Sarada, the spiritual consort of Ramakrishna Paramhamsa. Biswajit Das, another Trinamool MLA, had compared the Chief Minister to Sister Nivedita.

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