Having recently returned from Bangladesh after attending the 20th council of the Awami League, newly-nominated Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader Roopa Ganguly said that Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had expressed concern over terror activities being fostered in West Bengal.
“I had attended the council along with our party vice-president Dr Vinay Shahasrabuddhe on October 22 and 23. The programme was held to foster better relations between Bangladesh and its neighbouring countries. Hasina also met us personally and in the closed door meeting, she had clearly said that there were youths in her country, in the bordering areas of India and Bangladesh, who were being funded and trained for terror activities in Bengal,” Ganguly said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Ganguly also said that Hasina had not only talked about zero tolerance for terrorism, but was acting on it as well. “She had told us that she would not allow anyone in Bangladesh to stay there and carry out terror activities across the border. The message she has sent out is that if any criminal was getting a helping hand from Bengal in carrying out anti-terror activities, they were not wanted in Bangladesh.”
The BJP leader also said that members of minority sections in Bangladesh, who had been through a lot of trouble and torture in the recent past, were better off now.
“We have been told that most offenders who unleashed terror on minorities there had been booked and minorities are living a better life now,” she said.
State BJP president Dilip Ghosh, who was also present at the occasion, referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on triple talaq and said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had kept mum on the issue to keep her Muslim votes intact. “While the PM expressed the plight of Muslim women who suffered the pangs of triple talaq, sometimes even said over the phone, the CM here, who is a lady herself, had chosen to keep silent on the issue. She has not made her stand clear because she is worried about her Muslim vote bank here,” Ghosh said.
He also reacted to Mamata’s concern over the increase in communal clashes across the state and said, “We have compiled around 15 cases of recent communal clashes during Durga Puja and Moharram and sent it to the office of the home minister in New Delhi. We have also found out that the chief minister’s office here had news of 89 instances where members of both the communities have been at loggerheads, but those were swept under the carpet. All she does is the politics of appeasing a particular community,” said Ghosh.
Talking about pitching candidates for the upcoming bypolls at Tamluk and Cooch Behar Lok Sabha and Monteswar Assembly seats on November 19, he said a list of probable candidates has been sent to the Centre and the central committee would decide the final names.
Asked if Congress and Left Front fighting alone would be of any help to the BJP here, he said, “The Congress has left doors for discussion open, so there is a possibility of a last-minute alliance. But we are not concerned about that. They only have a handful of MLAs left with them. All the others have gone to TMC. Soon the two parties will lose existence. BJP has an edge whether or not there is an alliance,” he said.