The Hindu Card: Why Mamata Banerjee Revealed Her Gotra During This Election Campaign

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee revealed her “gotra” on Wednesday in an attempt to mould the flow of votes in her constituency of Nandigram on 1st April, the last day of campaigning for the second phase of the West Bengal elections. While reminiscing about her visits to temples, Mamata Banerjee said, “I visited a temple where […]

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April 2, 2021

Politics

6 min

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Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee revealed her “gotra” on Wednesday in an attempt to mould the flow of votes in her constituency of Nandigram on 1st April, the last day of campaigning for the second phase of the West Bengal elections.

While reminiscing about her visits to temples, Mamata Banerjee said, “I visited a temple where the priest asked me my ‘gotra’. I told him Maa Maati Manush, but actually I’m Shandilya,”. BJP leaders said that she feared her loss in the elections and PM Modi, and thus has resorted to such petty tactics.

Why did Mamata Banerjee Pull Her Hindu Card?

Mamata Banerjee revealed that her gotra is Shandilya, which is accordingly one of the eight top Brahmin gotras. It seems like she wanted to convey it to the Hindu voters, who were apparently leaning towards BJP candidate Suvendu Adhikari, her ex-loyalist, out of fear of losing.

Even when Mamata was visiting 25 Hindu temples in Nandigram, BJP leaders, reportedly, alleged that she was a fake Hindu as she doesn’t allow the Ramnavami procession to be taken out. However, Mamata said that she was a devout Hindu and had never once left her home without reciting the Chandi Path. She even did a Chandipath, recitation of mantras invoking Goddess Kali, on-stage during one of her campaigns.

BJP President J P Nadda said that Mamata had sent an SOS to other opposition leaders on Wednesday. The recipient of which included 14 top opposition leaders namely Sonia Gandhi, Farooq Abdullah, Navin Patnaik, Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, M K Stalin, Akhilesh Yadav, Sharad Pawar, Arvind Kejriwal and others.

According to Nadda, Mamata tried to appeal to the leaders in her SOS to unite and join hands to stop the BJP from “establishing one-party authoritarian rule in India”.

However, it seems that Suvendu Adhikari started chanting Jai Shri Ram slogans at his meetings to attract the Hindu voters of Nandigram, and to counter it, Mamata revealed her gotra in an attempt to project herself as a more devout Hindu than Adhikari.

BJP Slams Mamata Banerjee For Her Gotra Remarks

BJP leader Giriraj Singh said. “Didi, just tell me, if Shandilya is also the gotra of Rohingyas and infiltrators. Mamata didi is scared now, that’s why sometimes she’s questioning the Election Commission, sometimes she’s attacking BJP workers like Suvendu (Adhikari) and sometimes using her gotra. But I can say with certainty that she will lose these elections.

Even Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat took to Twitter and accused Mamata for using the trick from Congress book of politics. He tweeted, “From Temple run to I am Hindu too.. Mamata didi’s Gotra realisation is an old trick from Congress book of politics. Same Script, Same Fear, Same Hatred!! #EbarBJP #AarNoiAnnay,”.

Senior BJP leader Amit Malviya, who is also the party’s deputy in charge of West Bengal, questioned her statement. He tweeted, “Had Mamata Banerjee not issued fatwas, trampled on the faith of majority community in WB with impunity, reduced them to second-grade citizens in their own land, she wouldn’t have had to publicly declare her gotra just before Nandigram goes to poll. Never forget, never forgive,”.

The chief minister’s remarks also drew the attention of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) who tweeted, “What should happen to people like me who aren’t Shandilya or Janeudhari, aren’t bhakts of certain gods, don’t recite Chalisa or any Path? Every party feels that it has to show its Hindu credentials to win. Unprincipled, insulting & unlikely to succeed”.

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