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Mamata’s advt attracts controversy
Published on 11 Sep. 2010 11:35 PM IST
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Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee is embroiled in a fresh controversy after of a railway advertisement carried her photograph in a hizab offering namaz. The newspaper advertisements are about railway projects inaugurated in West Bengal and declare the ministry’ so-called gifts on the occasion of Eid.
Mamata has long established that she would go to any extent to woo the Muslim voters of West Bengal. But spending money from public exchequer to promote religious motifs is what brings her under the scanner of the secular ideals of India.
Pro-Mamata Muslim leaders in Kolkata though feel the gesture is wholly appropriate, reported CNN-IBN.
“As a politician she is entitled to wear all kinds of dresses. It’s her job to make everyone happy. So I see no fault with Mamata Banerjee for doing this,” says Maulana Barkati, Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Mosque in Kolkata.
Mamata’s public show of practicing the faith of the minority community isn’t new. It’s a gesture the Trinamool Congress supremo maintains every year during Ramzaan. But using money from the public exchequer for it has raised eyebrows.
“You are converting the department into something which is promoting religious motifs and symbols unnecessarily just to boost the image of a leader, a minister to a particular section of the society,” says CPI-M leader Mohammad Salim.
Mamata had deployed RPF personnel during her Lalgarh rally on August 9, allegedly even keeping the Centre in the dark. Her critics say the latest incident shows, how the Manmohan Singh government is turning a blind eye, just to keep ally Trinamool Congress happy.

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