Saffron Colour on Cricket Team Jerseys, Metro Stations Upsets Mamata Banerjee

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The chief minister’s remark drew sharp reactions from the BJP, which dubbed the allegations as a “reflection of a vindictive approach.”

Team Clarion

KOLKATA — The central government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party is saffronising various institutions across the country, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has alleged.

Speaking at the inauguration of Jagadhatri Puja at Posta Bazar in central Kolkata on Friday, the chief minister alleged that the BJP has introduced saffron colour not only on the practice jerseys of the Indian cricket team but also in the painting at metro stations.

“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 colours there as well, and our boys now practice in saffron-coloured jerseys. The metro stations have been painted saffron. This is unacceptable,” Vartha Bharati quoted her as saying.

It said the chief minister did not explicitly name anyone.

“I don’t have problems with them erecting statues, but they are trying to turn everything saffron. I had once seen that Mayawati had made a statue of herself. After that, I hadn’t heard of anything like this. These theatrics cannot always lead to benefits. Power comes and goes,” she said.

Taking a swipe at the BJP, she said the country belongs “to the janata (people) of the nation, and not to just janata of a party.”

Her remark drew sharp reactions from the BJP, which dubbed the allegations as a “reflection of a vindictive approach.”

BJP leader Rahul Sinha said, “After a few days, she might question why our national flag has saffron colour in it. We don’t deem it fit even to react to such statements.”

The Trinamool Congress supremo was also critical of the Centre’s withholding of funds for the state. She said the BJP-led central government is prompt in spending crores on front-page advertisements but has stopped “due funds of the state, thus depriving thousands of (MGNREGA) workers in the state.”

“First, I fought with CPI(M). Now I have to fight with the party in power in Delhi,” she said.

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