West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has raised concerns about what she perceives as attempts by the BJP-led central government to saffronise various institutions, alleging that even the Indian cricket team’s practice jerseys are now saffron-colored.
Speaking at the inauguration of Jagadhatri Puja in central Kolkata, Banerjee expressed her disapproval, stating that the BJP is introducing saffron color not only in the cricket team’s practice jerseys but also in the painting of Metro stations.
Banerjee, without explicitly naming anyone, accused the BJP of partisan politics, stating, “They are trying to paint the entire country saffron. We are proud of our Indian players, and I believe they will be champions in the World Cup. But they (BJP) brought in saffron colors there as well, and our boys now practice in saffron-colored jerseys. The Metro stations have been painted saffron. This is unacceptable.”
Denouncing what she considers a trend of turning everything saffron, Banerjee remarked, “I don’t have problems with them erecting statues, but they are trying to turn everything saffron. These theatrics cannot always lead to benefits. Power comes and goes.” She emphasized that the country belongs “to the Janata (people) of the nation, and not to just Janata of a party.”
The BJP responded sharply, dismissing the allegations as a “reflection of a vindictive approach.” BJP leader Rahul Sinha commented, “After a few days, she might question why our national flag has saffron color in it. We don’t deem it fit even to react to such statements.”
Banerjee also criticized the central government for withholding funds for the state, alleging that despite spending crores on front-page advertisements, due funds for the state, affecting thousands of MGNREGA workers, have been stopped. She expressed frustration, stating, “First, I fought with CPI(M). Now I have to fight with the party in power in Delhi.”
Discussing the upcoming Bengal Global Business Summit, Banerjee claimed that more than 70,000 businessmen have left the country, expressing disappointment at the potential loss of investments. She urged for sensible decision-making from BJP leaders.
As the political discourse continues, Mamata Banerjee’s allegations and concerns highlight the ongoing tensions between the ruling party in West Bengal and the central government.