Just a few weeks after TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee called the BJP and RSS supporters ‘fake Hindus’ in order to gain back the support of the Hindus of Bengal, Siddiqullah Chowdhury, her cabinet minister, declared that cow slaughter would continue in West Bengal and the Muslims of the state would never vote for Modi.
“Cow slaughter is happening in Bengal for the past 1000-1200 years. Everyone eats beef, including Muslims and others. What has beef got do with vote? The attempt is to further the Hindu mentality,” said Siddiqullah Chowdhury, who is also the state president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.
ममता के मंत्री सिद्दीकुल्ला चौधरी का विवादित बयान, 'बंगाल में कोई गोकशी नहीं रोक सकता'@dineshgautam1 | @upadhyayabhii | #SiddiqullahChowdhury | #BJP | #TMC | #WestBengal | #BengalElections | #MamataBanerjee pic.twitter.com/y9Tr6iyD8B
— TV9 Bharatvarsh (@TV9Bharatvarsh) March 6, 2021
The statement by Islamists like Siddiqullah Chowdhury would end whatever trust the Hindu population of the state has in Mamata Banerjee. After BJP started its campaign on Hindutva ideology, Mamata Banerjee has been trying hard to prove herself a better Hindu.
“Despite doing so much for the people in North Bengal, we have not won a single seat from North Bengal. Why? How come BJP, who came from outside, won all the seats? What was our fault in the last 10 years? The RSS and BJP are trying to take control over Bengal for their vested interest. They are not the real Hindus. They are not Ramakrishna or Vivekananda as they only spread hatred,” said Mamata while addressing a rally in the Jalpaiguri district. While anti-Hindu leaders like Chowdhury in her cabinet are busy spreading hatred.
During the last general election, BJP won 18 seats out of 42 and routed the TMC in the Hindu-dominated Northwestern part of the state. Out of eight Lok Sabha seats including Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Raiganj, Balurghat, North Malda, and South Malda in North Bengal, the TMC had suffered a comprehensive rout, as it failed to win even a single seat in the region; seven of which went to the BJP, while Malda South was won by the Congress. North Bengal has a significant tribal population, and the BJP enjoys tremendous support among such populations. The crucial Rajbonshi community, which constitutes 30 per cent of the vote in the region, continues to favour the BJP.
It is expected that the BJP will sweep North Bengal once again in the upcoming assembly polls, and statements from Hinduphobic leaders like Siddiqullah Chowdhury would only further push Hindus towards the party. The North Bengal region contributes 54 assembly segments to the state assembly, and therefore the TMC wants to ensure that it is not reduced to a non-entity in such areas.
Siddiqullah Chowdhury is known for his Islamist allegiances. Previously he had said that the Quran will prevail over the constitution for Muslims. “For us, our holy scripture, the Quran Sharif, is supreme and if any constitutional provision or any law contradicts the Quran, then our scripture will prevail and not the law or Constitution. BJP is playing the religion card and is playing with the Constitution. The ordinance will have no effect on Muslims. No one will adhere to it, but will follow the religion and the holy book,” said Chowdhury in 2018.
Under the guidance of Prashant Kishor, Mamata Banerjee has started taking an increasingly Hindu stance in the last few months, but her ministers like Siddiqullah Chowdhury are splashing water over her attempt to appease the Hindus of the state. She is losing the trust of Hindus and the vote of the Muslim community will be divided between the CPM-Congress alliance, AIMIM, and other regional parties.