Trinamool-BJP slogan war turns nasty ahead of Bengal polls

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By Soudhriti Bhabani
Kolkata, Feb 11 (IANS)
In poll-bound West Bengal, the politics over sloganeering has touched a new low with top leaders targeting their opponents with choicest adjectives to win the vote-bank, at time’s hitting much below the belt.
The political temperature between the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress and its arch-rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has shot up after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said “Hare Krishna Hare Ram, Vidaai Hok BJP Bham”, which means that the BJP must disappear from the state’s electoral map.
The slogan war intensified against the backdrop of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s birth anniversary celebrations in January this year, when the audience raised ‘Jai Shree Ram’ slogans at an event attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which Banerjee reportedly didn’t like.
Reacting to the slogan politics of Trinamool, newly-inducted BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari coined the slogan, “Hare Krishna Hare Hare, Padma Phool (Lotus) Ghare Ghare”, which means lotus will bloom in every household of Bengal.
In a turn of events, former Chandannagar police commissioner Humayun Kabir, who had tendered his resignation and joined the Trinamool Congress on Tuesday, had made headlines by ordering the arrest of three BJP workers for allegedly raising ‘Goli Maaro’ (shoot the traitors) slogans at a roadshow of Suvendu Adhikari last month.
Similarly, supporters of the state’s incumbent formation has composed a ‘Khela Hobe’ song with DJ music that is being played in every nook and corner of Bengal now. The lingo became popular after Trinamool Congress’ Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal, alias Kesto, popularised the term ‘Khela Hobe, Bhoyonkar Khela Hobe’ (there will be a dangerous face-off), while hitting out at his BJP counterparts.
Triggering a political face-off, the new joinees of Trinamool who have switched sides coined interesting slogans like: “Unishe Half, Ekushe Saaf”, which means Trinamool’s vote share came down to half in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and this year during the forthcoming Assembly elections, it will be completely eradicated.
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday came down heavily on the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in Bengal for not allowing the chanting of the ‘Jai Shree Ram’ slogan.
Shah said that ‘Mamata Didi’ gets angry if someone chants ‘Jai Shree Ram’ in Bengal. The Union minister also said that Banerjee treats people like criminals if they chant ‘Jai Shree Ram’.
“Is it an insult to her? When so many people take pride in it, the Bengal CM feels insulted. It’s is because she wants to appease a particular community to maintain her vote-bank politics. I want to ask her that do the people from other communities not vote for her in the state? If slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ are not raised in India, then will it be raised in Pakistan,” Shah asked at a rally in Cooch Behar district while kick-starting BJP’s ‘Parivartan Yatra’.
Even during his visit to Haldia in East Midnapore on February 7, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had criticised West Bengal CM’s role as she gets angry with nationalist slogans.
Modi had said: “In Bengal, if you ask Mamata Didi about your rights, then she gets frustrated. She even gets annoyed if slogans of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ are raised. But she does not get angry at people who speak against the country.”

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