Dilip Ghosh, the president of the West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), talked to The Sunday Guardian on the election strategy of the party in the state and the “terror operatives let loose” in Bengal.
Q. What is the biggest challenge before the BJP in West Bengal, keeping in mind that elections are due in April-May this year?
A. Since the BJP has not been in the limelight much in Bengal and we do not have a face currently, connecting to the people and making them believe that we are a party with a difference is one of the biggest challenges. However, now we have started connecting with people on the ground. We have also been projecting local leaders and assigning them with responsibilities. We have projected Rupa Ganguly as our woman leader as she connects well with people and is also president of the Mahila Morcha, the state BJP’s women’s wing.
Q. Do you think the TMC government is failing to control law and order?
A. There is a negative perception about this government among the people; it is a lawless government. There is no law and order in the state, there is no social security, no border security, and even women are not safe in the state. The educational institutions have become politicised and are being dominated by the TMC goons. There is no discipline within the campuses.Every day there are reports of infighting within the campuses and gunda gardi is on the rise throughout the state. The houses of opposition party members are being gheraoed, they are being arrested and slapped with false charges.
Q. What would you like to say in view of the recent incident in Malda?
A. Bengal is slowly becoming a terror hub and the present government is providing a conducive and fertile environment for terrorists to breed and operate from the state. The miscreants in the Malda incident have connection with the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami, an illegal terrorist group in Bangladesh. The miscreants who torched police stations and damaged public property and set cars and buses on fire are somehow part of this organisation. A similar incident also happened in Birbhum, but no action has been taken against the miscreants. Instead, innocent people had been arrested to make them scapegoats. These infiltrators are making bombs here and supplying to Bangladesh; they are taking shelter here and operating there. The anti-social and anti-national elements have become so powerful that they don’t even care about the state government or the law enforcement agencies and carry out their operations fearlessly. Fake currencies, cow smuggling, making of crude bombs, import of arms and cultivation of poppy have been on the rise, with the state government taking no action to control such activities. Police officials also remain helpless as they are not allowed to prosecute them, for reasons best known to them. The situation has become a matter of grave concern. People are not safe and their lands are being taken away forcibly, and they are being asked to vacate villages. We will expose the involvement of the TMC goons in these activities during our campaign in the state.
Q. Why do you think the government is protecting miscreants?
A. The government is protecting them simply because of vote bank politics. The minority vote in the state accounts for 30% of the total vote share, and this government had always been playing communal politics in the state to attract the minority vote bank. The government is providing them shelter in return for votes. The BJP is talking about the safety of Bengal and also about the safety of the country. For this, we need to weed out terrorism from the state.