The BJP on Thursday claimed that democracy and rule of law were murdered in West Bengal after the police stopped its workers from marching to state secretariat Nabanna, and said it would defeat the Mamata Banerjee government “lock, stock and barrel” as she had lost “public confidence”.
BJP president J P Nadda said he wants to tell Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee again that his party workers had resolved to fight against her “corrupt, violent and dictatorial” rule democratically to restore Bengal’s lost glory and pride.
He added, “The people of Bengal and the BJP will defeat her regime lock, stock and barrel. The BJP’s struggle to save the rich glory of Bengal will continue.”
In a series of tweets, Nadda said the BJP stands with the people of the state despite the alleged misuse of state power by Banerjee.
“Our brave workers of BJP’s Yuva Morcha compelled her to close the Secretariat. This is an admission that she has lost public confidence,” Nadda said.
Equating the TMC government with the previous Left Front regime, he said Banerjee’s government had outdone its predecessor in brutality and violence against political opponents.
At a press conference at the party headquarters in Delhi, senior BJP leader and Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad also lashed out at the Mamata Banerjee government, condemning the “barbaric treatment” meted out to senior party leaders by Kolkata Police. Prasad said there was no democracy in Bengal, and dissent is crushed either through administrative harassment or “even murder”.
Prasad said that 115 party workers had been the victims of political violence in the last few years. “The police have shown no evidence of any action. When Amit Shah was BJP President, his helicopter was not allowed to land. The PM’s schedule was also played with. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s movement also had unnecessary hurdles. The party had a councillor, Manish Shukla, who was killed, and in a video he had said about how he could be killed. Some people have been arrested, what action will follow time will tell,” added the minister.
Prasad described the violence at Thursday’s march as a “brutal attack”, adding, “Today there was a march which was meant to go to their secretariat. One lakh people were there, and so brutal was the attack, 1,500 workers have been injured. The injured include Arvind Menon, our national secretary, Raju Banerjee, who is a state vice president. He is vomiting and hospitalised. Shivaji Sanroy, the North Kolkata President, has an injury to his head and Tejashwi Surya, our BJYM President, was pushed as well.”
Criticising the state government, Prasad said, “Mamata ji was talking a lot about democracy, carrying out a march. Mamata ji, in your state, is there any space for dissent? In your state, even making a cartoon leads to an arrest of a media person. If someone talks of protest, they are murdered. The reason is very clear that the TMC is seeing the political earth shift from under them. The evidence is the last Lok Sabha election where the BJP won 18 seats.”
Prasad told reporters, “There is no democracy in West Bengal. Those who protest against the government are implicated in cases or harassed by police or their life is under threat.”
BJP MP from Bengaluru South Tejasvi Surya, who was in Kolkata to attend the protests, told the media at the state BJP headquarters, “Today was a black day in the history of Bengal. In broad daylight, democracy and constitutional rule of law were murdered by Mamata Banerjee government. This is the most corrupt government in the country. In the last two years, over 120 BJP workers have been murdered in Bengal in the most barbaric manner. The Mamata Banerjee government got scared of BJP Yuva Morcha and so, it closed the state secretariat today. The writing on the wall is very clear.”
Surya said he would continue to visit the state to participate in democratic protests to ensure the TMC’s ouster from power in the 2021 Assembly elections.
Hitting out at the government, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “The TMC is scared of us. They have lost the moral authority to rule the state. The way the police tortured the democratic movement is unthinkable.”
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