Days after JP Nadda’s attack, Mamata Banerjee tries to woo Hindus

by Times of India

KOLKATA: Four days after BJP president

J P Nadda

accused

Mamata Banerjee

of being “anti-Hindu”, the Bengal CM on Monday announced a host of measures for the Hindu community — including

monthly stipend

of Rs 1,000 for “poor Brahmins” (purohits) — in a clear attempt to negate the criticism that her government’s policies are directed towards appeasing Muslims. Imams and muezzins in Bengal have been getting a similar dole from the state board of waqfs, which in turn receives grants from the TMC government.

Mamata also announced the establishment of a Dalit Academy and expansion of the Hindi Academy and the Rajbanshi Academy. Besides, she unveiled a scheme to restore mandirs, masjids and gurdwaras in districts, with a special emphasis on restoration of 14th century heritage temples in Bankura’s Bishnupur, as part of her government’s “sarba dharma samanway” approach. TMC also formalised the structure of its Hindi cell and appointed MP

Dinesh Trivedi

, one of its prominent non-Bengali faces, chairman.

The state also decided to give Brahmins land in Kolaghat to set up a “tirthasthan for Sanatan Hindu Dharma”.

“Don’t take it otherwise. About 8,000 poor Brahmins made a request to me. We have decided to give them a monthly stipend of Rs 1,000 and build houses for them under Bangla Abas Yojana. This is an honorarium. We’re going to consider such requests from Christian pastors too. The 8,000 Brahmins will get the stipend from the Puja months of October/November,” Mamata said at the state secretariat.

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