Considered a bastion of Trinamool Congress, South 24 Parganas on Saturday saw Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asking voters not let their votes get "divided".
In Raidighi, the TMC supremo called on Muslims to not vote for "person who has come from Hyderabad" and "a young boy" from Furfura Sharif.
She was apparently referring to AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and Abbas Siddiqui, a cleric and head of Furfura Sharif who has floated the Indian Secular Front (ISF). ISF is part of Sanjukta Morcha that also includes the Left parties and Congress.
"Both have taken crores of money from BJP and are dividing voters on communal lines. They are dividing Hindus and Muslims. Do not let them divide your votes. If you vote for them, it means you will vote for BJP," Banerjee said.
Raidighi has a sizeable percentage of voters from the Muslim community and will go to the polls on April 6.
The Sanjukta Morcha candidate is giving a tough fight to the Trinamool candidate.
The Chief Minister raked up the issue of NRC, CAA and NPR and asked the voters to not vote for BJP. The Citizenship Amendment Act had witnessed protests, including from members of the Muslim community.
According to a senior functionary of BJP, Raidighi has almost 30 per cent population of the Muslim community and the party has for the first time chances to win the seat that hasn't been ever won by them.
"Muslims voted for TMC in previous polls but they would now also be voting for the Left candidate and division is likely to dent TMC candidate's chances. This explains the CM's fervent appeal to let non-BJP parties divide their votes," said a BJP functionary, who was previously in TMC.
The TMC has maintained that BJP is consolidating Hindu votes by levelling charges against it of appeasement politics.
To counter the consolidation of Hindu votes in favour of BJP, Mamata Banerjee has recited Chandi path in rallies.
"We are for every religion. Be it Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or Christian. To quote Ramkrishna Paramhansa, ma and Amma are one," the Chief Minister said.
She has made fervent appeals to voters to "not let BJP divide Hindus and Muslims, Schedule Caste and mother and son" while stating that she prays to revered figures of every religion and caste be it Birsa Munda, Ambedkar or Rabindranath Tagore.
( With inputs from ANI )
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