The Shahi Imam of Kolkata’s Tipu Sultan mosque has jumped into the current row over a BJP youth leader’s bounty on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Known for his proximity to the Trinamool supremo, Maulana Nurur Barkati today announced a counter bounty of Rs 22 lakh on the BJP leader who made the pronouncement in Aligarh.
“Mamata is like my younger sister. If they say Rs 11 lakh then let me announce Rs 22 lakh in return, if anyone can bring me his head. I condemn such comments. How dare they speak like this,” Maulana Barkati told India Today in Kolkata.
Barkati’s comments come on a day when West Bengal state BJP president Dilip Ghosh, referring to his cleric’s antics blamed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for vitiating the political atmosphere in the state.
“There is no place for such things in politics, but remember who began this culture here. One Imam pronounced a fatwa against none other than the Prime Minister sitting here in Kolkata flanked by Trinamool MP’s. No one raised it in the parliament then,” Ghosh said.
Last year, Barkati had announced a cash reward of Rs 25 lakh for anyone who blackened Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face and shaved-off his head, drawing widespread condemnation from various sections in the city.
In yet another case, the eccentric cleric had issued a fatwa against Bengal BJP state president Dilip Ghosh. Terming Ghosh’s comments about chief minister Mamata Banerjee “filthy”, Barkati had instructed his followers to stone the BJP leader and throw him out of Bengal.