‘BJP workers from the ground say they are still hiding in different locations’.
New Delhi: With more than a month having passed since results of the West Bengal Assembly election were declared, sporadic incidents of post-poll violence are still being reported from the interiors of the state with most foot soldiers of the BJP having to fend for themselves as many senior leaders have gone into a silent mode, following the electoral debacle of the party.
According to inputs from districts like South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, Burdwan, Birbhum, Asansol, among others, incidents of violence, allegedly perpetrated by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC), are still being reported. BJP workers from the ground say that they are still hiding in different locations since 2 May when the election results were announced.
A BJP worker, requesting anonymity, told this correspondent from an undisclosed location in Bengal that a sense of fear still persists in the interior parts of Bengal, with TMC workers allegedly coming into the villages at night and threatening women and men who voted for the BJP.
“They (TMC goons) are still on a rampage. They have vowed not to spare anyone who voted for the BJP. Many of us who were directly involved with the BJP have fled. We have sought refuge in a house of our relative, but how long can we stay here? We need to go back home; we need to start our work,” the BJP worker said.
Another BJP worker from South 24 Parganas district, speaking to this newspaper, expressed his anguish over how violence went unchecked for days and the police were just bystanders to the violence.
“Our houses were gutted down, people were beaten up and some even died, but you will not hear these in the media reports because no one reports them. The police are on their (TMC) side so the cause of death is also not written as violence. BJP workers are still afraid of going out because when they are seen on the streets, stones are thrown at them and we are called ‘gaddars’. They say that we have taken all the benefits from the state government, but voted for BJP,” the BJP worker said.
Reports of violence were also reported earlier this week from a locality in Kolkata where a mob allegedly belonging to the ruling TMC entered a housing colony and smashed cars and houses. The residents of the housing society say that since they had voted for the BJP in the last election, they were made to pay the price.
Reports of violence were also reported from the Barrackpore area in North 24 Parganas and local MP Arjun Singh had tweeted photos of how houses and shops were vandalised in his constituency by, what Singh says, TMC goons.
Even reports of ponds and agricultural lands belonging to the BJP workers being damaged allegedly by TMC goons are being reported from Bengal.
Many BJP workers from Bengal are claiming that despite the violence, their senior leaders have not stood by them. “Most of the senior leaders of the party abandoned their cadre after the elections. Some of the leaders are still not answering calls and some who do are saying that something can be done only after the Covid-19 situation improves in the state,” a BJP party functionary from Bengal told The Sunday Guardian.
However, the BJP has been talking to different party workers from across the country highlighting the issue of political violence in Bengal. The BJP has organised video meetings with party leaders from different states where senior leaders from Bengal would give inputs on the violence in Bengal to their counterparts in other states.
Sources say that the BJP is also planning to reach out to the families of those workers who have been affected by the violence in Bengal. The party is also planning to bring in senior leaders from different states to assess the amount of damage that has been inflicted on the families of the BJP workers on account of post poll violence.
Hundreds of academicians, teachers and even senior bureaucrats have written to the Supreme Court to initiate a court-monitored investigation into the violence in Bengal.