Comments by BJP leaders targeting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the state administration have drawn the Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) ire.
On Wednesday, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh claimed that Bengal had turned into a “second Kashmir”. He said terrorists were being arrested from the state, and claimed illegal bomb-making factories were being unearthed daily.
“West Bengal has turned into a second Kashmir. Every day, terrorists are being arrested and illegal bomb-making factories are being unearthed. The only factory that is flourishing here is the bomb-making factory,” Ghosh said at a “Cha-Chakra [chat over a cup of tea]” event of the BJP in Birbhum district.
The TMC reacted strongly to the comment, and accused Ghosh of maligning the state’s image. “What can I say about this crazy statement? If Dilip Ghosh feels that Bengal has turned into Kashmir then he should leave the state and stay in Kashmir. This kind of statement reminds me of comments made by Kangana Ranaut. She had said that Mumbai has turned into Pak Occupied Kashmir. She was asked to leave the city. Similarly, I am asking Ghosh to leave the state,” said TMC MP Saugata Roy.
Earlier in the day, state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu described Mamata Banerjee as “lady Hitler”. At a “Cha chakra” event in Malda district, Basu said, “If anyone wants to fight against the regime of the saree-clad Hitler, they should come and join us. All are welcome in our party.”
TMC secretary-general and state minister Partha Chatterjee said Basu was an uneducated person. “I heard that he is uneducated. Have you ever seen an educated person making such comments against a woman? People like these are a disgrace to society and Bengali culture,” said Chatterjee.
On Tuesday, BJP leader and fashion designer Agnimitra Paul alleged Mamata Banerjee had asked her supporters to “go and rape women for entertainment”.
In an address to party workers in Purba Medinipur district, the state BJP Mahila Morcha president said, “Rapes are taking place in the state every day. A six-year-old child was raped in Malda dew days back. Children aged between seven and eight years are being raped. Do you know who are committing these rapes? In most of the cases, TMC workers and supporters are raping women. Didimoni [Mamata Banerjee] told them that I have failed to give you jobs so if you need any entertainment or if you feel for it then go and rape. She said you go and rape women and I will compensate them with money.”
The comments drew a sharp reaction from the TMC. State minister Firhad Hakim asked Paul to look at Uttar Pradesh. “Rape is a heinous crime. No one should make any derogatory comments about such victims. I will tell her that West Bengal is not Uttar Pradesh. A rape victim’s dead body was burnt there without the family’s consent. If she has the courage, let her go and say all this in Yogi Adityanath’s state,” said Hakim, referring to the Hathras case.
In August, following an incident of vandalism, Paul courted controversy by alleging that the Visva-Bharati University campus was used by “sex rackets”.
“After the sun sets, sex-rackets start at the Visva Bharati University ground. From cannabis and hashish to other different kinds of drugs, everything is found there. That’s why the ground needs to be closed with a wall,” she said.
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