West Bengal Urban Development Minister and senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Firhad Hakim asked an audience at a religious gathering to promote secularism and not allow the growth of 'communal forces' in Bengal on Saturday. At an event conducted by a religious body called 'Tanzeem Aimma E Masjid', the former mayor of Kolkata advocated the need to be secular.
He added that this is a 'time when communal forces are advancing towards West Bengal'.
The senior TMC leader emphasized the ill effects of communalism which he stated as a reason behind lack of development of society. He also stated the socio-economic effects of communalism for not only the minorities but also the larger section of the country.
"Communalism is not a matter of concern just for Muslims but for a majority of Hindus as well because they are secular. It is a problem because communalism cannot lead to the development of a nation" said Firhad Hakim to a gathering on Saturday.
Hakim, who is seen as one of the major 'secular faces' of TMC, asked for blessings from the crowd, 'not for himself but for Bengal'. He asked the gathering to pray so that 'Bengal does not turn into Gujarat'.
"Today, I seek your blessings, not only for me or for Mamata Banerjee but for the fact that no communal forces can come to Bengal. Pray that Bengal does not turn into Gujarat and UP. Pray that murders do not happen in Bengal" said the senior leader.