Ram Navami was celebrated on Thursday with leaders of the BJP and RSS leading processions in different parts of the state. The RSS organised 1,000 large and small processions across the state on the occasion, spokesperson Sourish Mukhopadhyay said.
Chanting 'Jai Shri Ram', thousands of people took part in those processions in Howrah, Kharagpur, Barrackpore, Bhadreswar, Siliguri and Asansol. Drumbeats, saffron flags and large cutouts of Lord Ram featured prominently in these processions. Some of those participating in the processions were also armed with swords and trishulas.
BJP leader Sajal Ghosh, who participated in one such rally in Howrah's Ramrajatala, said there was a need to use such weapons against the evil. "Lord Rama had used weapons to vanquish the demons," said Ghosh, a corporator of Kolkata. BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh performed puja at the 300-year-old Ram Mandir in Ramrajatala.
"Ramrajatala is named after Lord Ram but the TMC and Left want to teach us that Ram is not the culture of Bengal. Ram is an outsider according to them," he said. State BJP president Sukanta Majumdar led Ram Navami processions in Itahar in Uttar Dinajpur and Balurghat in Dakshin Dinajpur district.
Leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari participated in a Ram Navami procession in his constituency Nandigram in Purba Medinipur, and offered puja at the Janakinath temple. "It was an absolute delight to serve Maha Prashad to the devotees & Ram Bhakts," he tweeted.
Senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha also participated in a procession in Kolkata's Bhabanipur area. TMC leader Arjun Singh also took part in a Ram Navami procession organised by a religious outfit in Barrackpore in North 24 Parganas district.