Modi has no knowledge of our eating habits: Abhishek on PM's 'Mughal mindset' comment

PM Modi had accused Rahul Gandhi and Tejashwi Yadav of showing a "Mughal mindset" by eating non-vegetarian food in the month of Sawan

Abhishek Banerjee at an election rally (photo: PTI)
Abhishek Banerjee at an election rally (photo: PTI)


Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP and national general-secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Saturday claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi has no knowledge of the culture and eating habits of the people of the country.

Addressing an election rally in Cooch Behar in support of TMC candidate Jagadish Chandra Barma Basunia, Banerjee said, "The PM said those who eat fish during this holy month (Sawan) are not devout Hindus. He said they are Mughals.

"My question to the PM is, does he know that in our culture, Durga Puja, Kali Puja rituals are incomplete without maachh (fish), or mangsho (meat) in many Hindu households? What will his minister Nisith Pramanik say about this?".

"We practice religion at home but at the time of voting, should we ask for votes in the name of dharma (religion) or karma (deeds)?" Banerjee asked.

At an election meeting in Udhampur on Friday, Modi had launched a veiled attack on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Rashtriya Janata Dal's Tejashwi Yadav, accusing the opposition leaders of demonstrating a "Mughal mindset" and "teasing" the people of the country by consuming non-vegetarian food in the holy month of Sawan and posting a video online.

Without naming anyone, Modi said individuals have the freedom to choose their dietary preferences, but the opposition leaders' intentions behind the actions matter significantly. He said eating non-vegetarian food during Navratri and Sawan hurt the feelings of people.

Describing the BJP as "anti-Bengal", Banerjee said five innocent voters were gunned down in firing on 10 April 2021 at Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar district by Central forces, and the BJP supported the trigger-happy forces.

Neither Union minister and Cooch Behar MP Pramanik nor any of his party leaders came to the aid of the victims' families, but the TMC did, he claimes. "The BJP is one party which is not in sync with the ethos of Bengal. They are like migratory visitors who surface before the polls and seek votes in the name of religion," he said.

Banerjee said the BJP's ignorance about Bengal surfaces when Union home minister Amit Shah spells Balurghat as Belurghat. Another heavyweight BJP leader said Tagore was born in Santiniketan.

Banerjee alleged because of the anti-Bengal approach of BJP, the Modi government is delaying the sanction of funds to rebuild damaged houses in Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar after a devastating tornado recently, and even the Election Commission is not giving consent to the administration to start the process.

"The BJP can conspire against us, against Bengal, against the people of the state. But the BJP cannot intimidate and muzzle our voices of protest. Our government mobilised the state's own resources to help people get wages, and build their houses, despite the Centre holding back funds under the 100 days' work and awas yojana," he said.

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