Mamata turned Tagore's Bengal into a hatred zone: Union

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has turned the state of Rabindranath Tagore and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose into a zone of violence and hatred, causing a blow to its culture, Union minister Mahesh Sharma alleged on Monday.

The BJP leader claimed that Banerjee is acting as if she is running a separate country within the country.

"West Bengal used to be known for Rabindranath (Tagore), Shayamaprasad (Mookerjee), Netaji (Subhas Chandra Bose). See what is it today. It has turned into a state of violence, corruption and hatred. And Mamata didi is responsible for this," Sharma told reporters at the Kolkata Press Club here.

Banerjee shielded the then city police commissioner Rajeev Kumar, The Union culture minister said adding that she had even sat for a dharna for it.

"West Bengal under Mamata didi seems to be a separate country within India. Have you ever seen a chief minister sitting for a dharna to save a police officer?... What kind of a state is this?" the Union minister said.

A team of CBI officers was stopped from entering the residence of Rajeev Kumar on February 3 when they had gone to question him in connection with Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund cases.

Banerjee had then launched a dharna in the heart of the city protesting "the attack on constitutional norms".

"West Bengal is lagging much behind the world. Forget about the world, West Bengal is lagging at least 20-25 years behind the country. Who is responsible? Just think of it," Sharma said.

He also hit out at Banerjee for calling Narendra Modi an "expiry prime minister" and a "liar", saying she is causing damage to the culture of the state.

"Mamata also says she will tie him with a rope and put him in jail. What kind of language is this and what does she want to prove? But The prime minister calls her didi. I believe people of West Bengal will bring a change this time," he said.

Sharma also criticised the arrest of BJP youth wing activist Priyanka Sharma and described it as "dirty politics" of the ruling Trinamool Congress.

Priyanka Sharma was arrested for sharing a morphed image of Banerjee on social media.

"Such things have been going on in West Bengal for long. But when Modi ji is called by names we do not take action against anyone. We believe that in politics there must be open debate and discussion," the minister said.

"The opposition has an important role to play. The TMC leaders do not understand that. They are trying to scare BJP workers by indulging in the politics of violence and hatred," he said.