Kolkata, Aug 19 (IANS) Charging the Mamata Banerjee government with politically exploiting minorities in West Bengal, the Congress on Wednesday called for uprooting the Trinamool Congress for the sake of secularism.
“Any amount of criticism of the Mamata Banerjee government is not sufficient. On one hand she poses as the messiah of the minorities, but on the other hand she doesn’t let go any opportunity to get closer with the BJP and Narendra Modi,” Congress general secretary Shakil Ahmad said.
“Time has come to uproot this government which has been treating you only as its vote-bank and exploiting you for its political gains,” Ahmad said at a minority conference organised by the party’s state unit here.
Ahmad along with a host of party leaders, including Rajya Sabha member Mani Shankar Aiyar and actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar, participated in the programme.
Speaking in a similar vein, Aiyar called upon the people to bring the Congress to power in the state.
“It has been almost 40 years since the Congress was removed from power in the state and you very well know what condition you are eliving in. First the communists exploited you and now Mamata Banerjee is doing the same. Strengthen the Congress because it is the only party with proven secular credentials.”
“In the name of honorarium to Imams, Mamata gave you alms but did nothing to empower you. Only 1.76 percent of the minorities in Bengal have a representation in government jobs which is reflective of how much you have regressed,” added Aiyar.
Babbar asked the people to use their votes sensibly.
“It is for you to decide whether you want to vote for the welfare of the community and the welfare of the country or whether you want to vote for those who have been exploiting you for years giving nothing in return,” exhorted Babbar.
Other leaders too slammed Banerjee and her Trinamool for having a “pact” with the BJP and called upon to strengthen the Congress for securing and preserving secularism.