West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said nobody had the right to dictate what someone else will eat or stop people from practising their religious faith.
“Everybody has a right to religion. You can practise your faith freely,” Banerjee said at a minority community rally at Furfura Sharif in Hooghly district.
Referring to the lynching of a Muslim man in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, the chief minister said: “We do not support Dadri killing. It is my right to eat fish. You can eat whichever meat you want.”
“Who are they to dictate what meat a person can eat,” the chief minister asked without naming anyone.
She said some people wanted a ban on meat in West Bengal during Durga Puja, but her government refused.
“I asked them, will you ask a ban on fish? Don’t vegetables have life? Will you ask people to stop eating vegetables? You eat what you want. Let others eat what they want.”
Banerjee criticised those who attacked Bollywood superstars Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan after they came out against what they claimed was rising intolerance in the country.
“Sometimes they are attacking Aamir. Sometimes they are asking Shah Rukh to leave India. Why should they? They are also Indians.”
With the assembly polls scheduled in the first half of next year, Banerjee has been wooing the Muslims, who comprise 27 percent of the state’s population.