Bharatiya Janata Party’s Lok Sabha candidate in Ghatal, West Bengal, and former Indian Police Service officer Bharati Ghosh on Saturday warned Trinamool Congress workers that if they intimidate voters, she will bring men from Uttar Pradesh to pull the TMC men out of their homes and beat them up like dogs. A video showing Ghosh threatening two alleged TMC workers has gone viral.
Ghosh was the police chief of West Midnapore district and was reportedly considered to be close to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. However, they seemed to have had a fallout, after which Ghosh was transferred out of the district on December 26, 2017. She resigned from the force two days later and had then disappeared, according to NDTV. She resurfaced in February this year, when she joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.
When Ghosh was campaigning at Anandapur village in Ghatal on Saturday, some people complained to her that Trinamool Congress workers were warning them to not vote on May 12, the sixth phase of polling in the Lok Sabha elections. “Will they not allow [you] to vote?” Ghosh is heard saying in a video. “You are threatening people to not cast their votes. I will drag you out of your houses and thrash you like dogs. I will call a thousand people from Uttar Pradesh to beat you up.”
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was also campaigning in Ghatal, said, “Please don’t force me to open my mouth. We have let you contest. You are saying wrong things against people…Do not cross the limit.”
Trinamool Congress Secretary General Partha Chatterjee questioned the Election Commission’s purported inaction in the matter, The Indian Express reported. “Bharati Ghosh is threatening people,” Chatterjee said. “She is threatening to kill them. We heard she said that she will bring goons from Uttar Pradesh. Is this a Lok Sabha candidate? She is a former IPS officer. We will gather all evidence and approach the EC.”
BJP state secretary Sayantan Basu defended Ghosh. “This has been started by TMC,” Basu said. “They first started using such language. I have not heard what she said, but she has to use the language of goondas to speak with goondas.”
Communist Party of India (Marxist) Sujan Chakraborty criticised Ghosh for her comments. “Ghosh was very close to the Trinamool Congress, but later joined the BJP,” Chakraborty said. “This is the language of both Trinamool and BJP in Bengal. People of Bengal are watching.”