Does loving Hindus mean hating Muslims, asks Mamata

Kolkata, June 16 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said those who accuse her of appeasing Muslims are friends of neither the Hindus nor the Muslims.

“Some accuse me of (doing) Muslim appeasement. My question to them is whether loving Hindus means you have to hate Muslims. I respect and love all communities and religion. This country belongs to everybody,” she said.

“Those who say I appease Muslims are friends of neither the Hindus nor the Muslims,” Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, said while addressing a special prayer gathering on Red Road here to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr.

The BJP and some other organisations have been charging Banerjee with appeasement of Muslims for political reasons.

The chief minister said it was due to her protest that the Niti Aayog meeting which was earlier scheduled for today was changed to tomorrow.

“My question to the Central government officials is whether they are not aware that Eid is scheduled to be celebrated on June 16. Why the Niti Aayog meeting was kept on that day? I had written to the Central government urging it to change the date so that it doesn’t clash with Eid,” she said.

Banerjee had yesterday confirmed her participation in the Niti Aayog’s rescheduled governing council meeting in New Delhi on June 17.

The meeting, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was earlier scheduled on June 16, the day when Eid-ul-Fitr is to be celebrated.

Banerjee and a few other chief ministers had expressed unwillingness to attend the meeting in view of the Eid festival, following which it was postponed by a day to June 17.

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