‘TMC goons and police are working hand-in-glove to stifle Opposition voice.’
NEW DELHI: After a series of attacks on the Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in West Bengal in the last one week, the BJP has accused the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) of continuously using the state administration to muzzle the Opposition’s voice in West Bengal.
Last week, three senior BJP leaders, including BJP state president Dilip Ghosh, were attacked allegedly by the TMC goons supported by the state administration and the police. The others included senior BJP leader and MP Arjun Singh and Bongaon MLA Biswajit Das.
MP Arjun Singh, who was attacked allegedly by the West Bengal police in Barrackpore and was admitted to hospital with seven stitches in his head, has accused the police commissioner of Barrackpore of carrying out a “planned” attack on him.
Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, Arjun Singh said, “We were holding a road blockade in Barrackpore when the police started lathicharging our workers and the Barrackpore Police Commissioner Manoj Verma hit me with his gun. I received severe head injury. While he was charging at me, he told me that he had killed Kishanji (Maoist leader), who are you?”
Arjun Singh further alleged that the TMC goons and the police were working hand-in-glove to stifle the Opposition’s voices, especially voices from the BJP.
He said, “The police is being told by the Mamata Banerjee government not to book anybody who has carried out attacks on the BJP members. Hence, the police is not registering any case, nor listening to complaints of attacks and intimidation faced by the BJP in Bengal. The police is working as the TMC cadre in Bengal.”
The BJP has also alleged that lakhs of civic volunteers who have been recruited by the Mamata Banerjee government are acting as “goons” and cadre of the TMC in Bengal.
The attack carried out on Bongaon BJP MLA Biswajit Das was allegedly by a civic volunteer recruited by the government. Das was attacked earlier this week while on his way to the state Assembly. His car was damaged and he received injuries on his head.
Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, Biswasjit Das said, “The TMC had conspired to attack me because I left their party to join the BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modiji; so they sent their civic volunteers to carry out this attack. These civic volunteers are supposed to be a part of the police administration that protects its people, but instead they are being used by the TMC to attack Opposition leaders. No arrest has been made in this case yet, though everybody knows who the person is. The police is turning a blind eye to this.”
BJP councillors from Bongaon who could not go to take part in the no-confidence motion vote on 5 September as per the Calcutta High Court order also alleged that they were being threatened and intimidated by the police and TMC goons repeatedly.
Debdas Mondal, vice president, BJP’s district organisation, said, “The High Court had asked the police to provide protection to these councillors, but no protection was provided to the BJP councillors. Our councillors were being threatened and intimidated, yet no action was taken. We have knocked on the doors of the Calcutta High Court once again.”
It is increasingly looking like election strategist Prashant Kishor’s advice to Mamata Banerjee has fallen on deaf ears.
Kishor, who has been recruited as the new political tutor of Mamata Banerjee, had, according to sources, asked her to refrain from the use of police force and the might of the administration, but that advice clearly does not seem to have been complied with.
TMC sources say that Mamata Banerjee has perhaps lost control of the ground level workers and her leaders who, over the years, have enjoyed raw power and are unwilling to give up such power at this juncture.
A source from the TMC said, “Didi has lost total control over her party leaders. Many just do not want to give up the power they exercise over the police and, therefore, despite her instructions, this is not being followed. And I can say that this is going to cost us in the elections, because people of Bengal have never before seen such misuse of police power.”