Trinamool leader Abhishek Banerjee has taken a sharp jibe at the BJP over its latest slogan coined to rile up Bengal's ruling party leaders. The leader claimed the television rating points or TRPs garnered by the BJP's "Jai Shri Ram" slogan has gone down, forcing the party to come up with "Jai Maha Kali". The remark comes amid a faceoff between the two parties over the BJP's heckling of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee using the religious slogans.
"They (BJP) have decided to change the slogan from Jai Shri Ram to Jai Maha Kali as the TRP of Ram is on a downward slide. They are mixing religion with politics," Abhishek, who is also nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
The Television Rating Point (TRP) is a tool which indicates the popularity of a television programme.
Mamata Banerjee faced off against BJP supporters shouting slogans of Jai Shri Ram on two occasions in May. She reportedly charged at them in fury, calling them "criminals" and "outsiders".
After relentless BJP attacks over her outbursts, she later clarified in a Facebook post that she did not have a problem with the slogan but the manner in which it is being used by BJP workers to "create unrest in West Bengal by mixing religion with politics".
She also changed her profile picture on Twitter and Facebook to 'Jai Hind, Jai Bangla'.
The BJP on Monday said that it will continue campaigning in West Bengal with the slogans "Jai Shri Ram" and "Jai Maha Kali" until the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress is ousted from power.
"Our slogans in Bengal would be 'Jai Shri Ram' and 'Jai Maha Kali'. Bengal is the land of Maha Kali, and we need the goddess' blessings," Kailash Vijayvargiya, party general secretary and West Bengal in-charge, was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
The BJP has made inroads in West Bengal by winning 18 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, a stellar performance considering it won only 2 in 2014.