Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal, chaired the meeting for administrative review of Hooghly district on Thursday. At the event, she announced the development of a police commissionerate for Hooghly, formation of a university, a medical college and a development board for the famous Tarakeshwar Temple.
Banerjee also announced a grant of Rs. 5 crore for the Tarakeshwar development board that will take care of the development of the temple and its surrounding areas. Along with this, she made another announcement that has sparked a huge controversy. Mamata Banerjee has appointed Firhad Hakim, a Muslim leader of her party, as the chairman of this development board.
A media report has even said that Mamata Banerjee is determined to turn Bengal into an Islamic state and it is for this reason that she has appointed a Muslim in the position of chairman of the famous Hindu temple’s development board.
In 2014, there was a verdict by the Supreme Court of India that there should be no interference of governments in management of temples but the system continues despite the ruling.
Firhad Hakim, also popularly known as Bobby, is the minister for urban development and the minister of municipal affairs in the government of West Bengal. Earlier, the minister had hit the headlines in April 2016 for calling his constituency, Garden Reach, a “mini-Pakistan”.
Reportedly, Firhad Hakim had said “Please come along and let us take you to mini-Pakistan in Kolkata,” to Maleeha Hamid Siddiqui, a reporter of Pakistan’s leading national daily, ‘Dawn’. Siddiqui’s report ‘Canvassing in ‘mini-Pakistan’ of Kolkata’ had then appeared in the Pakistani newspaper.
Later the minister tried to justify his statement by saying that he had been misquoted.