The Bharat Jakat Majhi Pargana Mahal (BJMPM) – a prominent tribal outfit in West Bengal – has claimed that union home minister Amit Shah had offered flowers to and garlanded the statue of an anonymous tribal hunter and not tribal freedom fighter Birsa Munda on Thursday in Bankura district.
BJMPM leader Sangiri Hembram, said, “It is unfortunate and an insult to the tribal community that our union home minister Amit Shah doesn't even know who Birsa Munda is and garlanded the wrong statute of an anonymous tribal hunter. We condemned this act.”
The statue, which was garlanded by Shah, is located at Puabagan in Bankura town and is part of a beautification drive.
There are allegations that the BJP leaders mistook it for a Birsa Munda statue and organised the event for Shah to pay floral tribute. “Yesterday, the local BJP leaders realised that they made a mistake and before Shah reached the venue, they hurriedly placed a portrait of Birsa Munda in front of the statue,” Hembram said.
“This shows that they have no knowledge about our culture and our great leader Birsa Munda ,” he added.
Trinamool Congress MP, Nusrat Jahan Ruhi, tweeted, “From Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar to Birsa Munda, what is this blatant disrespect towards Bengal’s legendary icons, @AmitShah ji? How many more times will you misuse Bengal's culture & heritage for your political propaganda?#BengalAsksAmitShah.”
However, BJP Lok Sabha member Saumitra Khan rubbished the allegations and claimed that the statue belonged to Birsa Munda.
“It is unfortunate that TMC is spreading fake news,” he added.
Meanwhile, TMC leaders at Bankura conducted ‘shuddhikaran’ (purification) of the public area visited by Shah.