West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Thursday stirred up a fresh controversy when he said it is important to go to jail if one wants people to take him seriously in politics.
At another rally, he also said a lone woman protester at a pro-CAA rally in the city who was heckled by the BJP workers should “thank her stars that nothing else was done to her”. His comments drew widespread criticism from opposition parties.
Addressing party workers at Gandhi Ghat in Barrackpore on Thursday, Ghosh said there is no place for soft people in politics. The BJP leader also advised those aspiring to be political leaders that they should go to jail by themselves if the police don’t arrest them.
“You’ll not be a leader if you don’t go to jail, if police don’t arrest you, then you must go there yourself. If they don’t give you any scope, you do something to go to jail, only then will people respect you. There is no place for soft people in politics,” he said.
The state BJP president who is known for making controversial remarks further said West Bengal is turning into Pakistan.
“Under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee, the state culture is disappearing. Where Saraswati Puja couldn’t happen, it is not West Bengal…. it is Bangladesh, it is Pakistan,” he said.
The TMC slammed Ghosh for making such statements. “He has become a joke and people don’t take him seriously anymore. If he continues to make comments like this, then it is good for us as they will be shown the door by the people,” said senior TMC leader and state minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay.
Ghosh on Thursday also led a pro-CAA rally from Patuli to Bagha Jatin area in southern fringes of the city.
During the rally a lone woman protester was seen carrying an anti-CAA poster and decrying the shooting outside Jamia Millia Islamia University during the day.
BJP supporters snatched the poster from the woman and verbally abused her. They also heckled her. She was rescued by police posted in the area.
Later, while speaking to mediapersons, Ghosh justified the heckling of the woman saying, “Our men did the right thing. She should thank her stars that she was only heckled and nothing else was done to her”.
“Why do they (protesters against the CAA) always come to our rallies to protest? They can go to other events. We have tolerated a lot but now we won’t tolerate such nuisance,” he added.
Undaunted by the Ghosh’s comment, the woman protester who is in her mid twenties, said she will continue to protest against the “fascist BJP”.
Senior CPM leader Shamik Lahiri condemned Ghosh’s statement and asked him to refrain from making such comments.
“His comments reflect both his and his party’s sadistic and perverted mindset,” Lahiri said.
Senior Congress leader Manoj Chakraborty said Ghosh should “publicly apologise” for his statements.
Ghosh had stirred up a storm earlier this month by saying “anti-CAA protesters who destroyed public property were shot like dogs in BJP-ruled states”.
With PTI inputs
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