The Trinamool Congress had earlier distanced itself from her comments. In a tweet, the Trinamool Congress said Mahua Moitra’s comments were her own and that the party condemned them.
The comments made by @MahuaMoitra at the #IndiaTodayConclaveEast2022 and her views expressed on Goddess Kali have been made in her personal capacity and are NOT ENDORSED BY THE PARTY in ANY MANNER OR FORM.
All India Trinamool Congress strongly condemns such comments.
— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) July 5, 2022
Ms Moitra later said her interpretation of the Goddess was twisted by trolls as her ‘support’ for a controversial documentary poster depicting the Goddess smoking.
Earlier, she had said at an India Today conclave in Kolkata that she had every right as an individual to imagine Goddess Kali as a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess as every person has the right to worship God in their own way.
“If you go to Bhutan or Sikkim, for example, when they do puja, they give whisky to their god. Now, if you go to Uttar Pradesh and say that you give whisky to your god as prasad, they will say that is blasphemous,” she said, making her point.
“For me, Goddess Kali is a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess. And if you go to Tarapith (a major Shakti peeth in West Bengal’s Birbhum district), you will see sadhus smoking. That is the version of Kali people worship (there). I, within Hinduism, being a Kali worshiper, have the right to imagine Kali in that way; that is my freedom,” the MP said.
Ms Moitra was responding to a question on the controversy over a poster tweeted by filmmaker Leena Manimekalai, which showed the Goddess smoking.
“I have the freedom to do it (envision a meat-eating goddess) as much as you have the freedom to worship your god as vegetarian and white-clothed,” she said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seized the comment, as it went viral, and questioned whether insulting Hindu Gods was the official stand of West Bengal’s ruling party.
“Trinamool supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee should clarify it. This is not the first time such instances have been reported. Earlier too Trinamool leaders have done the same. We think this is the official stand of the ruling TMC to hurt the sentiment of Hindus to get votes,” BJP leader Rathindra Bose said.
Ms Moitra reacted with a furious tweet.
“To all you sanghis – lying will NOT make you better Hindus. I NEVER backed any film or poster or mentioned the word smoking. Suggest you visit my Maa Kali in Tarapith to see what food & drink is offered as bhog. Joy Ma Tara,” the MP wrote.
To all you sanghis- lying will NOT make you better hindus.
I NEVER backed any film or poster or mentioned the word smoking.
Suggest you visit my Maa Kali in Tarapith to see what food & drink is offered as bhog.
Joy Ma Tara
— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) July 5, 2022
Ms Moitra still follows her party chief Mamata Banerjee but has apparently unfollowed the party handle.