West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party President Dilip Ghosh on Wednesday accused members of the Trinamool Congress of attacking saffron workers in the state, and urged his partymen to defend themselves with bamboo sticks and “to strike back when needed”, reported PTI.

“BJP activists are not born to get beaten,” Ghosh said. “I urge the party workers not to come out on the streets empty-handed. Carry a bamboo stick to strike back when needed.”

Violence erupted on Wednesday when workers of the ruling Trinamool Congress clashed with BJP activists, who were on their way to a rally held by Ghosh in Birbhum district. The police said the scuffle broke out when the saffron party workers, travelling in a mini truck, ended up having an altercation with the local TMC workers while passing through Simurali area.

Matters escalated when some miscreants, allegedly from the TMC, broke the truck’s windscreen with bricks, prompting BJP leaders to pour out on the road. Both sides hurled crude bombs and stones at each other, damaging several other vehicles that were passing through the route.

A police team from Bolpur was deployed to the spot, who resorted to firing tear gas shells to quell the violence and clear the highways. The clash, however, spilled to nearby village roads.

Bharatiya Janata Party workers alleged that two of their supporters were injured in the firing by TMC activists during the clash. However, the information has not been confirmed by the police.

Ghosh lambasted the TMC for the alleged attack and claimed that many of its leaders will be in jail after the BJP comes to power in West Bengal. Elections in the state are due in April-May next year.

“There is unrest everywhere in West Bengal,” he added. “The police and the administration have been rendered ineffective as they are being run at the whims of Trinamool Congress leaders.”

The BJP leader claimed that Bengal had turned into a “second Kashmir”, The Indian Express reported.

He said terrorists were being arrested, and claimed illegal bomb-making factories were being unearthed across the state every day. “The only factory that is flourishing here is the bomb-making factory,” Ghosh said at his “Cha-Chakra [chat over a cup of tea]” event in Birbhum.

Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy criticised Ghosh for his “crazy” statements and asked him to leave West Bengal if he felt this unsafe there.

“What can I say about this crazy statement?” Roy asked. “If Dilip Ghosh feels that Bengal has turned into Kashmir then he should leave the state and stay in Kashmir. This kind of statement reminds me of comments made by Kangana Ranaut. She had said that Mumbai has turned into Pak Occupied Kashmir. She was asked to leave the city. Similarly, I am asking Ghosh to leave the state.”

Meanwhile, ANI reported that Ghosh’s convoy was later attacked on Wednesday evening in Kandi area of Murshidabad district allegedly by TMC workers. “As BJP is gaining popularity in the state, these attacks are being carried out,” alleged party leader Gouri Ghosh.