Warning those protesting against the new citizenship law, West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh has said “our governments” in Assam, UP and Karnataka have “shot them like dogs, dragged them away and even slapped cases”.
Addressing a rally in support of the CAA at Ranaghat in Nadia Sunday, Ghosh, speaking in Bengali, said: “In states like Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, our governments shot them like dogs, dragged them away and even slapped cases. You will come here, eat here and destroy government property here? Is this someone’s zamindari? We will hit you with lathis, shoot you and put you in jail. That is what our government did.”
“These infiltrators here are eating my money, your money. They are destroying trains and burning them. Here no firing took place, no lathi was used, no FIR was lodged. Didi’s polce did not arrest anyone. Is it someone’s father’s property that they are destroying? These rails and buses were built by the tax you and I paid. Are you (CM) doing nothing because of votes,” he said, targeting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
As the remarks drew all-round condemnation, the BJP distanced itself with Union Minister and BJP leader Babul Supriyo saying Ghosh’s remarks were against the stand of the party and a “figment of his imagination”. He said it was “very irresponsible” of Ghosh to have said what he did.
But Ghosh was unapologetic. “Anyone can say what he wants. But our governments did it and I said it. Given a chance, we will do the same here,” he told reporters in Kolkata.
Mamata Banerjee, speaking at Rani Rashmoni Road, said: “They do not have any shame. We are all political leaders. How can we encourage shooting people? He (Ghosh) said whatever happened was right. He questioned why it didn’t happen in Bengal. It has never happened in Bengal. We will never let it happen in Bengal.”
TMC’s Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondol, responding to a query on remarks by Ghosh, said: “The central government should shoot Dilip Ghosh dead. If anyone has destroyed public property first, it’s him. He should be the one to be shot dead”.
Abhishek Banerjee, president of Trinamool Youth Congress and party MP, tweeted: “Although @DilipGhoshBJP correctly characterized his party, his own MP refuting his stance publicly raises serious doubts over his credibility to lead BJP in Bengal. Dilip Babu let us all know whether your statements are to be seen as personal opinion of views of your party.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines