On the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for the setting up of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya by participating in a Bhumi Poojan ceremony, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee took to Twitter to call for “unity in diversity”.

Banerjee did not mention the context of the tweet, but it is being read under the backdrop of the historic event in Ayodhya. She wrote in her tweet: “Hindu Muslim Sikh Isaai Aapas mein hain Bhai Bhai! Mera Bharat Mahaan, Mahaan Hamara Hindustan. Our country has always upheld the age-old legacy of unity in diversity, and we must preserve this to our last breath!”

West Bengal goes to the polls in 2021 (Assembly elections) – an important election in the state as the Bharatiya Janata Party is being seen as a tough opposition party having won in 2019 Parliamentary elections, rather unexpectedly, 18 seats while the Trinamool Congress won 22 seats.

The BJP’s phenomenal rise in the country has been rooted in its goal of setting up the Ram Mandir and has been a constant part of its poll campaigns since the 1990s. Now, with the foundation for the Ram Mandir becoming a reality, the BJP leaders feel it has far more hold among the electorate in Bengal than it had even a year ago.

The Ram Mandir will be built after decades of dispute over a 2.77 acre plot where the Babri Masjid stood before it was razed in 1992 by Hindu activists who claimed it was built on the ruins of a temple which was where Lord Ram was born. Nearly 2,000 people died in the riots that followed. Under this backdrop, Banerjee’s comments on Twitter calling for unity among all religions, is being deemed as significant though she herself did not mention it in any specific context.

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