The BJP on Monday said its slogans in West Bengal would be "Jai Shri Ram" and "Jai Maha Kali", and the party would campaign in the state till the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government was ousted.
"Our slogans in Bengal would be 'Jai Shri Ram' and 'Jai Maha Kali'. Bengal is the land of Maha Kali. We need goddess Kali's blessings," Vijayvargiya, the BJP's West Bengal affairs in-charge, told reporters during his first visit to the state after the saffron's party's stunning Lok Sabha poll performance in Bengal.
The inclusion of "Jai Maha Kali" in its list of slogans for the state comes at a time when the TMC has accused the BJP of being a party of outsiders that does not understand the culture of Bengal.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee had recently changed her profile picture on Twitter and Facebook to "Jai Hind, Jai Bangla" amid a war of words with the BJP, which she has accused of creating unrest in the state by "mixing religion with politics".
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Banerjee claimed that attempts were being made to propagate the ideology of hatred, which should be opposed.
"'Jai Sia Ram', 'Jai Ram ji ki', 'Ram naam Satya hai' etc. have religious and social connotations. We respect these sentiments. But BJP is using religious slogan 'Jai Shri Ram' as their party slogan in a misconceived manner by way of mixing religion with politics," she wrote.
The TMC chief also said she had no issues regarding any particular slogan being used in political rallies or events of a political party.
She said her party's slogan was "Jai Hind, Jai Bangla and Vande Mataram".
Vijayvargiya said the BJP's campaign in Bengal would remain incomplete until and unless the TMC government was ousted and a new government led by the saffron party installed.
Criticising Banerjee for losing her cool over chants of "Jai Shri Ram", the senior BJP leader wondered whether uttering the phrase was a crime in the state.
"Is chanting 'Jai Shri Ram' a crime in Bengal? Why is it a crime, we would like Banerjee and TMC leaders to explain," he said.
"We do not have any personal enmity with Mamata Banerjee. We are against her policies of appeasement, terror tactics and oppression of opposition parties. The BJP would not only provide good governance but also a terror-free atmosphere in Bengal," Vijayvargiya added.
The BJP will hold a day-long review meeting on Tuesday regarding its poll performance in West Bengal. The saffron party bagged 18 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the just-concluded polls.