Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on July 29 alleged that violence in West Bengal during the recently concluded panchayat elections was carried out by TMC activists as per instructions of Chief Minister and party supremo Mamata Banerjee.
Mr. Thakur, who is in Kolkata to felicitate BJP’s winning candidates in the rural polls, also claimed that over 57 people have been killed in clashes during the panchayat elections.
He claimed that the BJP has doubled the number of seats in the rural polls as compared to the previous elections and the result is an indication that Ms. Banerjee’s “days at the helm of things are numbered”.
“I would like to say that in the recently concluded panchayat polls, over 57 people have been killed. To fulfil Mamata Banerjee’s wishes, people were killed. The entire law and order in West Bengal is in shambles. Mamata didi, your party leaders under your instruction restored to hooliganism [during this panchayat polls],” Mr. Thakur told reporters in Kolkata.
The BJP leader alleged that Ms. Banerjee, for the last 8-9 years, has been giving shelter to hooligans and criminals for her political benefit.
“Compared to the last [rural] elections, this time the BJP has doubled the number of seats. This shows that people have started fighting back. Results show that Mamata Banerjee’s days here are slowly heading to an end,” Mr. Thakur said.
State Industry Minister and senior TMC leader Shashi Panja questioned the timing of Mr. Thakur’s visit to West Bengal when “Manipur is burning”.
“He [Mr. Thakur] is the one who had said ‘Goli maro desh ke gaddaro ko‘ [shoot the traitors]. He should be behind bars, but since he is a BJP man, he went scot-free,” Ms. Panja said.
“Instead of being in Manipur, he is in West Bengal and speaking on violence during rural polls. The PM and other Union ministers are also silent on Manipur. The BJP creates and propagates violence. They had said that the democratically elected government in West Bengal will be overthrown and President’s Rule will be imposed,” she said.
Ms. Panja questioned why the Prime Minister was not putting his statement in the Parliament on the Manipur violence.
“Get rid of your theatrics, Mr. Thakur, and think about the people of Manipur, devote yourself to the northeastern State,” she added.
West Bengal Municipal Affairs and Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said such visits won’t have any impact.
“I don’t want to talk about leaders of the party that vandalises statues of legends. Such leaders won’t gain much by coming to Kolkata,” he added.