(Eds: Minor edits in intro) Kolkata, Sep 16 (PTI) Senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayvargiya on Wednesday accused the TMC government in West Bengal of working only for the benefit of the 30 per cent minority population of the state, leaving out the 70 per cent Hindus to 'fend for themselves'.
He alleged the state administration tries to create obstacles for any programme or ritual related to Hinduism.
'The state government works only for the 30 per cent population (minorities) of the state. The remaining 70 per cent (Hindu population) are left to fend for themselves.
'Why is this government against Hinduism and its rituals? Our party workers were stopped by the police from performing 'tarpan'. Later, we had to organise it somewhere else,' the party's national general secretary said.
Vijayvargiya's comments came in the backdrop of the Kolkata Police preventing the BJP from organising its 'shahid tarpan' event and dismantling a stage erected for the programme at Bagbazar Ghat in north Kolkata, citing the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
The saffron party, however, changed the venue to Golabari Ghat near Bagbazar and performed 'shahid tarpan' for slain party activists a day before Mahalaya.
'Tarpan' is a ritual in which water is offered to the ancestors with prayers for peace to the departed souls. It is performed on occasions like Mahalaya, which marks the beginning of the Durga Puja festivities, and Makar Sankranti along the banks of Ganga.
Referring to the imposition of the state-wide lockdown on August 5, the day of 'bhoomi pujan' at Ayodhya for the construction of Ram temple, Vijayvargiya alleged the TMC government creates obstacles for any programme related to Hinduism.
'After we are voted to power in West Bengal next year, we will work for the entire population of the state and not just for a specific community,' he told reporters after being prevented by the police from entering Bagbazar Ghat.
Assembly elections are likely to be held in West Bengal in April-May next year.
The police said the BJP had not taken permission for the 'shahid tarpan' event, while the saffron party claimed it had sent an email to the police on Tuesday night seeking permission for organising the programme.
'Do we need permission to perform 'tarpan' for our slain workers? It is a Hindu ritual that is being performed for ages. But still, we had sent an email to the police last night seeking permission for the programme,' Vijayvargiya said.
Since last year, the BJP has been performing 'mass tarpan' for party workers killed in political violence in West Bengal in the last few years.
J P Nadda, the then BJP national working president, had performed 'mass tarpan' for slain party workers in September last year. PTI PNT ACD ACD