West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh was Thursday booked after party supporters allegedly brandished swords at a Ram Navami rally led by him in Kharagpur Sadar constituency, which Ghosh represents in the Assembly. This comes at a time when Ghosh’s comments during the Ram Navami celebrations has triggered a row. Speaking at the rally in Kharagpur Sadar on Wednesday, he said, “Ram belongs to the entire world. We believe Ram is there in all creations. One who is afraid of Ram, Ram does not belong to him. Here (Bengal) a fight is on between ‘Ramzada’ and ‘Haramzada’. It is a test to decide who is on the side of Ram, and who is not.”
A police officer said Ghosh has been booked under sections of the Arms Act. “At the procession led by Dilip Ghosh, people were seen carrying swords. In such cases, one has to take prior permission from police to carry weapons longer than nine inches.”
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said action will be taken against parties and leaders who were seen with swords and other weapons during Ram Navami processions.
“Some BJP leaders who do not know about Bengali culture held processions with swords to create an atmosphere of fear. Can anyone perform puja with a sword?” she said at a public meeting in Purulia on Thursday.
The state BJP chief, when asked about registration of the case against him, said, “We will fight it. Whether be it a case or an election, we will win.”
“The state can file as many cases as it wants to. I have no regrets. What were police and administration doing when arms were brandished during Muharram processions? At that time, they didn’t bother to lodge any case as it might hit the votebank of Trinamool Congress,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ghosh’s remarks at the rally has drawn flak from rival parties.
TMC leader and state Minister Partha Chatterjee on Thursday said Ghosh lacks “mental balance”. “This gentleman has lost his mind in the heat of Kharagpur. He is polluting our culture,” he said.
CPM legislature party leader Sujan Chakraborty termed Ghosh’s comments “nonsensical” and “uncultured”.
In a related development, Kolkata Police initiated three suo motu cases against organisers of Ram Navami processions at Posta, Bhawanipore and Entally. “Three FIRs have been lodged against the organisers for displaying arms without prior permission… Strict legal action will be taken against them,” said Addl CP (III) Supratim Sarkar.