Not forcing anyone to raise ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan: Yogi Adityanath

“If someone says ‘namaskar’ or ‘Jai Shri Ram’ it shows his etiquette,” he said.

No one is being forced to raise ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans and there is nothing to feel bad about its chanting as it is a greeting, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on January 25 after his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee refused to speak at an event over raising of the slogan.

Ms. Banerjee on January 23 refused to speak at an official event attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mark the beginning of the celebrations of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 124th birth anniversary after ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans were raised just before she was to start her address.

Speaking to a select group of journalists here, Mr. Adityanath said, “If someone says Jai Shri Ram there is nothing to feel bad about it as it is a greeting.”

“If someone says ‘namaskar’ or ‘Jai Shri Ram’ it shows his etiquette,” he said.

Responding to questions on Ms. Banerjee refusing to speak after the chants, Mr. Adityanath said, “We are not forcing anyone to speak it. But if someone says Jai Shri Ram there is nothing to feel bad about it.” A visibly agitated Ms. Banerjee, who was called to deliver her speech at the Netaji birth anniversary ceremony at Victoria Memorial on January 23, had fumed over the “insult” and said, it was a government programme and not a political event.

The BJP claimed that Ms. Banerjee’s reaction reflected her mindset of appeasement politics. The VHP leadership also came down heavily on Ms. Banerjee, saying it reflects her “anti-Hindu” mindset and efforts to appease a particular community.

BJP leader and grandnephew of Netaji, Chandra Kumar Bose, had said there was nothing wrong with the slogan and Netaji’s birth anniversary should not be mixed with politics.

The Congress and the Left Front had backed Ms. Banerjee and slammed the BJP for the incident.

With elections due in the State in March-April, the tussle between the BJP and Ms. Banerjee’s TMC has intensified.

Talking about law and order in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Adityanath, said the State witnessed several riots during earlier regimes while under this government the State has not witnessed any such incident.

He claimed the law and order situation in the State is one of the best in the country.

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