"I'm a staunch soldier of the party and most importantly of Mamata Banerjee," Mahua Moitra said
Trinamool Congress's Mahua Moitra - whose move to unfollow her party's Twitter handle over the controversy around her remarks on Kali as a "meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess" made headlines on Wednesday - told NDTV that it was "between the party and me". She said she follows Mamata Banerjee, her party leader and the "matter will be sorted out in the appropriate forum". But there was a rider.
"I'm a staunch soldier of the party and most importantly of Mamata Banerjee... But this is a fight between the BJP's idea of a monolithic, patriarchal, homogenous idea of Hinduism that I'll stand against till the day I die and anyone who tells me that 'Mahua don't wade into this' is feeding the BJP frenzy. So I'm standing clear against that," she told NDTV on Wednesday in an exclusive interview.
In a recent interview, Ms Moitra had said she had every right as an individual to imagine Goddess Kali as a "meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess" as every person has the right to worship God in their own way. As her remarks set off outrage and the Bengal BJP leaders called for her arrest, Ms Moitra's party, Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress, has distanced itself from the controversy.
"The comments made by @MahuaMoitra at the #IndiaTodayConclaveEast2022 and her views expressed on Goddess Kali have been made in her personal capacity and are NOT ENDORSED BY THE PARTY in ANY MANNER OR FORM. All India Trinamool Congress strongly condemns such comments," the party tweeted, following which, Ms Moitra unfollowed the party handle.
Asked what message she was sending out by unfollowing the party handle, Ms Moitra said, "I follow Mamata Banerjee. I'm in her party. I don't know what message this is sending out or whether this is relevant".
"I challenge the BJP to prove me wrong. Anywhere in Bengal where they file a case, there will be a Kali temple within 5 km where the goddess is worshipped thus," she said. Citing the Kaal Bhairav temple of Ujjain and the Kamakhya temple of Assam, she dared the BJP governments of the two states to file affidavits contradicting her.