Kolkata, Nov 25 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday stressed on the need to have mutual respect among political rivals despite differences, lamenting that an era of intolerance prevails in the country.
Banerjee, who was speaking in the assembly on the eve of Constitution Day, also alleged that the BJP-led government at the Centre was running the country through central agencies, and called for safeguarding the democratic rights of people.
"An era of political intolerance now prevails in the country... which is unfortunate. As per the Constitution, representatives of people should work for the welfare of people. There should not be any division on the basis of religion, community or cast, and polarisation.
“But, what are we experiencing? On the contrary, we are witnessing the rights of people being taken away,” the chief minister said.
Earlier taking part in the discussion, Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhilkari said the Trinamool Congress government has snatched the democratic rights of people, politicised the education sector, made the bureaucracy partisan and did not believe in giving respect to the opposition.
Banerjee countered the charges, saying her government accorded due respect to the opposition, and offered chairmanship to BJP MLAs of nine assembly panels out of 41 committees.
"There has to be mutual respect even if we are political rivals. That keeps democracy functioning," she said.
"We invite you to business summits and film festivals but you do not attend,” Banerjee said, referring to the BJP members in the assembly. PTI SUS SCH RBT RBT