Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee mocked the BJP on Tuesday for disrespecting former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee by undertaking the “Atal Kalash Yatra” and trying to gain political mileage out of it.
The BJP leadership, in a counter, said Ms Banerjee should desist from talking much about Vajpayee as she had betrayed him “time and again to serve her own political purpose”.
Addressing a rally here, Ms Banerjee said, “I have never seen such a shameless party. We (TMC) might have ideological differences but we respect Atalji. They (BJP) are even doing politics with Atalji’s ashes. They (BJP) are basically disrespecting him (Vajpayee). This is shameful,” she said.
Hitting back at Ms Banerjee, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said, “She should not talk much about Atalji. We all know what happened when the TMC was part of the NDA government from 1998-2004. We have seen how she betrayed him (Vajpayee) to serve her own political purpose.”
BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha urged Banerjee to refrain from indulging in politics over Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“When Atalji was prime minister, he had visited your home and even met your mother. So keeping that in mind, please don’t try to politicise his death,” he said. After Vajpayee’s death, the BJP central leadership decided to take out “yatras” with urns carrying ashes of the former prime minister in all districts and immerse those in rivers across the country.