AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over her 'gotra' remark at a rally in Nandigram. Owaisi said that mentioning 'gotra' during election rallies is 'unprincipled'.
"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," he tweeted.
Earlier on Tuesday, Banerjee while addressing a rally in Nandigram played the 'gotra' card to woo the Hindu voters. The CM told the crowd that she belonged to the 'Shandilya' gotra. The 'Shandilya' gotra is one of the eight highest Brahmin gotras.
“During my second campaign, I visited a temple where the priest asked me my ‘gotra’. I told him ‘Maa Maati Manush’. This reminds me of my visit to Tripura’s Tripureshwari temple where the priest had asked me my ‘gotra’ and I had told him too ‘Maa Mati Manush’. Actually I am Shandilya.”
Mamata is facing one of the most difficult political challenges of her life. She is facing a stiff challenge from BJP in the poll after helming West Bengal for a decade. In Nandigram, she is contesting elections against her aide-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari who had quit TMC last December and is now fighting on a BJP ticket.
More than a political fight, the battle for Nandigram has turned into one of prestige and has assumed the proportions of a personal fight to decide who owns the legacy of the Nandigram movement. Adhikari spearheaded the anti-land-acquisition movement in Nandigram in 2007. He was an MLA at that time. He helped the Trinamool Congress dislodge the 34-year Left Front government in West Bengal 2011.
In the 2009 general elections, Adhikari won from Tamluk. In 2014, he was re-elected to Lok Sabha from Tamluk. He, however, resigned in 2016 after winning the Assembly polls from Nandigram and was made Transport Minister. Banerjee, who represented Bhowanipore seat in the Assembly since 2011, decided to contest from Nandigram after Adhikari's exit from the TMC.
Polling in Nandigram will take place in the second phase on April 1.
READ MORE: ‘Mamata Banerjee scared of losing’: Giriraj Singh hits back at TMC supremo over 'Gotra' remarks