Mumbai: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday said nobody should feel pain while chanting the slogan and he is sure that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also has faith in Lord Ram. This comes days after the TMC chief declined to speak at an event where ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans were raised.Also Read - BJP Teased Me In Front of PM, Insulted Netaji, Bengal With Jai Shri Ram Chants: Mamata Banerjee

Banerjee on Saturday (January 23) refused to address at an official programme to celebrate Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary in Kolkata after ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans were raised by the audience in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She came on the stage to say that such “insult” was unacceptable and left in a huff. Also Read - Will Quit if Centre Brings Law Allowing Only One Member of Family in Politics: Mamata’s Nephew Abhishek Banerjee

Asked about the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accusing Mamata Banerjee of feeling pained when chanting the slogan, Raut said, “Nobody should feel pained to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in the country.” Also Read - BJP, TMC Lock Horns Over Jai Shri Ram Chants as Mamata Refuses to Address Netaji Event in Kolkata | Key Points

“Jai Shri Ram is not any political word. It is a matter of our faith, and I am sure that Mamata Didi also has faith in Lord Ram,” Raut said.

“Nobody’s secularism will be under threat by saying Jai Shri Ram. We think Lord Ram is the pride of the country and support,” the Sena leader said.

An editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ also said Mamata Banerjee should not have got upset when “Jai Shri Ram” slogans were raised by some people during the event.

“Rather, tables would have turned on them (those who raised slogans) had she mixed her voice among theirs. But everyone is catering to their own vote banks,” it said.

The BJP has identified Banerjee’s “weak point” and it will keep playing up such sensitive issues until the Assembly elections (in West Bengal) are over, it said.

The editorial also launched a veiled attack on the BJP, accusing it of poaching TMC leaders in West Bengal to defeat the Mamata Banerjee-led party in the forthcoming polls in that state.

It said the leadership of West Bengal, Punjab and Maharashtra were at the forefront of the country’s freedom struggle.

The three states are fighting for their self-pride at present also and the Centre is against them, it claimed.

Farmers from Punjab, who are agitating against the Centre’s new farm laws near Delhi border, are allegedly being trampled, it said.

Maharashtra is being targeted in a “pre-decided” manner, the Marathi daily alleged, apparently referring to notices by central agencies to some of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leaders.

The BJP poached Congress and NCP leaders ahead of the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly polls and gave them candidature, it alleged and said most of such candidates had got elected.

“What happened in Maharashtra is (now) happening in West Bengal. (BJP) doesn’t have anything of its own. It creates its legion poaching with whom it is going to fight. It happened in Bihar. Now, struggle is on to defeat the TMC by poaching TMC (leaders),” the Shiv Sena charged.

Notably, West Bengal forest minister Rajib Banerjee quit the Mamata Banerjee cabinet recently, joining the growing list of dissenters who have put the ruling camp in a tight spot ahead of the Assembly elections.

The editorial said the BJP winning 18 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal is a matter of concern for Mamata Banerjee.

“But this Bengal tigress (Mamata Banerjee) is the one who fights on the streets and will keep fighting,” it added.

(With PTI inputs)