July 22, 2021 5:37:30 am
West Bengal Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari on Wednesday claimed that the post-poll violence in West Bengal had “eclipsed the Great Calcutta Killings of 1946” and other instances of grisly violence of the past.
He made the remark at a sit-in organised at the BJP’s election office here to mark “Shahid Shraddhanjali Divas [Homage to Martyrs’ Day]” in the memory of its workers killed allegedly in the violence that the Opposition party blames on the Trinamool Congress (TMC). The saffron party organised a similar protest event in Delhi to counter the TMC’s “Shahid Divas [Martyrs’ Day]” event.
Adhikari alleged that TMC men had killed at least 30 BJP since May 5, when the Mamata Banerjee government took the reins of the state for the third term. “We expect the judiciary to take action against the state government after taking into consideration the NHRC [National Human Rights Commission] report on post-poll violence. What happened in Bengal over the past two months has eclipsed the Great Calcutta Killings of 1946, the Noakhali riots, and the Sikh killings,” he added.
Sources in the BJP claimed at least 175 of its workers in the state had been killed in the past few years.
Adhikari, the Nandigram MLA, said, “A section of milk-giving cows of Didi [Mamata Banerjee] actively launched attacks on Scheduled Caste men and women, among others. The NHRC could not take note of several complaints due to paucity of time.”
The Leader of the Opposition claimed the BJP had built safe homes for its 25,000 homeless party workers, supporters, and their families. In yet another dig at Banerjee, Adhikari said, “She went all the way to Nandigram from Bhawanipore to contest elections. After being rejected by people there, she is now desperate to get elected to the Assembly, notwithstanding the Covid-19 situation. Setting a new precedent, a non-MLA CM is running the state. We will surely dislodge this government one day. From three, our tally has increased to 77 in the Assembly.”
The Nandigram MLA also alleged that the Covid-19 restrictions were applicable only on the movement of BJP workers while the TMC, in the past few weeks, organised “at least 1,000 rallies to protest fuel hike”.
Meanwhile, even as Banerjee, in her speech, vowed to take her crusade against the BJP beyond Bengal’s borders, and not rest till the saffron party was unseated from power in New Delhi, the BJP countered the TMC with a sit-in in the national capital. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh and other party MPs from the state participated in the event at Rajghat.
Coming down hard on the TMC government, Ghosh said, “Since coming to power for the third time, Mamata Banerjee has unleashed a reign of terror on our workers. A large number of our party workers have been killed, thousands have been rendered homeless and their families continue to be targeted. The NHRC, in its report, has also been critical of the state government’s failure in checking this violence. Today we have sat on a dharna to not only pay homage to our fallen workers but also present the real state of affairs in Bengal.”
He lashed out at the chief minister, saying, “She is trying to become a national leader. Before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, she held a public meeting with Opposition leaders at Brigade Parade Grounds. After the election, all those parties lost relevance in politics and the Trinamool Congress also lost seats. Those who couldn’t save Bengal, can’t save the country.”
Tearing into the TMC government over the alleged violence in which saffron party workers were targeted, BJP president JP Nadda tweeted, “[The] entire country is watching the post-poll violence against BJP workers in West Bengal. In this violence, maximum atrocities have been inflicted on women, Dalits and children. We will fight democratically to demolish Mamata Banerjee’s dictatorial mindset.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.