BJP MP team to visit West Bengal to take stock of post-poll violence

The team will be led by former Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb, and includes Ravi Shankar Prasad, Brij Lal and Kavita Patidar; BJP leader wants to stage five-day sit-in protest outside Raj Bhavan

Published - June 15, 2024 09:25 pm IST - KOLKATA

BJP MP-elect Biplab Kumar Deb.

BJP MP-elect Biplab Kumar Deb. | Photo Credit: PTI

With political violence continuing in West Bengal in the aftermath of the Lok Sabha election, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership on Saturday decided to send a four-member team of MPs to visit the State and take stock of the situation.

The team, set up by BJP president J.P. Nadda, will be led by former Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb. The other MPs on the team are Ravi Shankar Prasad, Brij Lal, and Kavita Patidar. The team will visit different areas of the State and meet people affected by political violence.

The BJP statement emphasised that elections have concluded across 28 States and eight Union Territories with no instance of political violence reported from anywhere else. “All this has happened peacefully, with no instance of political violence reported from anywhere. Except for West Bengal, which continues to be in the vice grip of post poll violence, the kind we saw post 2021 Assembly elections,” the BJP statement said.

‘Criminal intimidation’

It added that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee “remains a mute spectator while criminals of her party attack and intimidate Opposition workers and voters with impunity”.

The BJP leadership has previously sent teams to West Bengal to look into allegations of political violence including after the 2021 Assembly polls when a number of such violent incidents were reported. In the recently concluded Lok Sabha election, the Trinamool Congress won 29 of the 42 seats from the State, restricting the BJP to 12 seats.

Culture of political violence

The Trinamool Congress leadership, however, said that the BJP was making more noise than the actual incidents on the ground. West Bengal Minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, a TMC leader, said that it was not possible for the government to guard 11 crore people in the State, but the State government was trying. The Minister went on to blame the Communist Party of India (Marxist), claiming that in the States which have been ruled by the CPI(M) — West Bengal, Tripura, and Kerala — political violence has become part of the culture.

Hundreds of BJP supporters have taken shelter in different party offices across several districts of the State. BJP supporters who claimed that they were victims of post-poll violence tried to meet the State’s Governor C.V. Ananda Bose, but were prevented from entering the Raj Bhavan on Thursday. On Friday, however, the Governor met with a number of people affected by post poll violence.

Sit-in protest

Suvendu Adhikari, Leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, also met BJP workers affected by post-poll violence in Coochbehar district on Saturday. He listened to the grievances of BJP workers, most of whom said that they were being threatened by Trinamool Congress supporters. 

“If Governor C.V. Ananda Bose gives me time, I will meet him at Raj Bhavan on Sunday with 100 people who became homeless due to the TMC attacks,” he said.

The BJP leader has sought permission from the Kolkata Police to stage a sit-in protest for five days outside Raj Bhavan, accompanied by those affected by post-poll violence. The dharna will be held at the same place where TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee had held a similar protest in November 2023. During the day, another BJP leader Dilip Ghosh also met victims of post-poll violence at Amtala in the South 24 Parganas district.

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