The Bharatiya Janata Party’s West Bengal unit chief Dilip Ghosh on Friday refused to back down when questioned on his recent controversial comments on violence against workers of rivals Trinamool Congress.
“If someone attacks my car, breaks arms and legs of my workers, lynches them, should we serve them tea?” Ghosh said in an interview with NDTV, accusing workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress of fomenting political violence in the poll-bound state.
Ghosh claimed that 120 of his party members have been killed and said that the saffron party will resist attacks against its workers.
“We are not going to sit and talk in air conditioned rooms,” Ghosh asserted. “We will hit the ground and protest against the killings. We have not signed any papers saying we will stand and get thrashed.”
The BJP leader, however, claimed that his previous comments on Trinamool Congress workers was made not on his or the party’s behalf, but he was referring to central forces who would be in charge of the law and order of the state ahead of the Assembly elections expected to be held in April-May next year. He, however, did not reply when pointed out that the central forces were a neutral entity and do not work under any party’s influence.
Earlier this month, addressing a rally in West Bengal’s Haldia town in East Midnapore district, Ghosh had warned Trinamool Congress supporters of extreme consequences if they indulge in violence ahead of the Assembly elections.
“Those TMC [Trinamool Congress] cadres who are yet to mend their ways and are still torturing common people should rectify themselves in the next six months,” he had said. “If they don’t, their hands, legs and ribs will be broken and they will have to go to the hospital. If they still continue with their mischief, they will have to go to the crematorium.”
The BJP and the Trinamool Congress have been constantly accusing each other of resorting to violence and attack on party workers. On November 13, during a visit to Alipurduar district, stones were hurled and black flags were waved at Ghosh’s convoy.