Mamata's 'RSS Not That Bad' Remark: Opposition Parties Unhappy, BJP Says 'Don't Need Certificates'

Mamata's 'RSS Not That Bad' Remark: Opposition Parties Unhappy, BJP Says 'Don't Need Certificates'

A massive political slugfest erupted a day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asserted that not all members of the right-wing outfit Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are bad and even opined that there are many who do not support the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While parties such as Congress, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) attacked Trinamool Congress supremo alleging opportunism on her part.

“RSS was not that bad. There are still people in the RSS who do not support the politics BJP does. They will also break their silence one day,” Mamata said on Wednesday in a passing remark during a Bengal secretariat function. 

Her remark drew a verbal storm in political landscape with AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi recalling how the TMC Supremo had heaped praised on RSS while attending its programme back in 2003. 

“In 2003 too Mamata had called RSS ‘patriots’. In turn RSS had called her ‘Durga’. RSS wants Hindu Rashtra. Its history is full of anti-Muslim hate crime. She’d defended BJP govt in Parliament after Gujarat pogrom. Hope TMC’s ‘Muslim faces’ praise her for her honesty & consistency,” Owaisi tweeted.

Giving it back to the Hyderabad MP, TMC said that the party doesn’t need to prove its secular credentials to him.

“We don’t need to prove anything to Owaisi. Mamata Banerjee has tried to say that every organisation has good and bad people. We don’t need to prove our secular credentials to anyone after we defeated the BJP-RSS juggernaut in the last assembly polls,” news agency PTI quoted TMC MP Sougata Roy as saying.

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Reacting to Mamata’s left-handed praise, the BJP said that it did not need certificates from her. Meanwhile, the RSS, instead of commenting on Chief Minister’s remarks, reminded her about the violence in Bengal and asked her for corrective measures. 

“She has said there are some good people in RSS. We would like to tell her that there can be political differences, but does that mean (political activists should involve themselves in) killing opponents,” RSS state general secretary Jishnu Basu as saying, PTI reported.

Even Congress criticised TMC supremo’s remark and said that this is not for the first time that she has praised the RSS. “In 2003, she had participated in a book release programme of the RSS. She had sought their support to topple the Left Front government (then),” Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told PTI. 

“Sometimes she cajoles Hindu fundamentalists and sometimes the Muslims to get electoral dividends. Mamata Banerjee has been exposed again,” the Congress leader added.

Even the Left-wing parties did not shy away from firing salvo at Banerjee. CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty claimed that Bengal CM’s comments vindicate the Left party’s stand that she is a ‘product’ of the RSS. “It is once again clear that TMC is not trustworthy in the fight against BJP,” Chakraborty asserted.