Kolkata: A BJP leader in West Bengal has asked people to keep trishuls at home to protect themselves against Trinamool Congress during the panchayat polls. The BJP leader, Raju Bandopadhyay, at a Jagadhatri Puja event on the outskirts of Kolkata said the Trinamool will turn violent during the panchayat elections and women must keep trishuls at home to protect BJP workers.
Trinamool MLA Tapas Roy has condemned the remarks. Bengal BJP MP Dilip Ghosh, who was at the event where Bandopadhyay made the comment, was seen clapping to it. The Trinamool's Roy and Ghosh were inaugurating Jagadhatri Puja on opposite sides of a road at the same area.
"In the panchayat elections, the Trinamool Congress will use bombs and bullets. What will we have for self-defence? To protect ourselves, we will have what Maa (Durga) has given us, the trishul (trident). All mothers and sisters should keep trishuls at home to protect themselves because this is the situation in West Bengal. You can see their manners. There is a puja going on and they have switched on microphones here," Bandopadhyay said.
Roy said the BJP leader's comment is not right and the administration should look into it. "They want people to keep trishuls at home and some people will tell them to keep other things at home. The healthy politics of Bengal, peace and order will be affected. They talk about peace in Bengal, but they keep on making these instigating statements," Roy said.
"...They don't want peace in Bengal, they don't think about Bengal, but we think about Bengal, its culture and traditions and that is why we can't say such things," the Trinamool leader said.
The panchayat elections are scheduled early next year. Bengal saw widespread violence in the last election. The state BJP leadership has demanded deployment of central forces. "There is no guarantee that central forces will be deployed. Last time we had asked for it. We knew what situation was going to be created. What will happen, but the elections will take place and we will have to fight, and the BJP is preparing for that," the BJP's Dilip Ghosh said.
"Those elections brought the BJP into the forefront of elections in Bengal. We all were tested. Whatever the situation we will fight with our full might and take on the Trinamool. It is true that elections are not peaceful in West Bengal and in these local body elections the Trinamool will use all its might, including the police," he said.
"We want the deployment of central forces, and we will ask for it so that people can step out of their homes to vote. We don't need anyone, our workers are enough but the amount we are hearing about guns and bombs, the way they are killing people in villages, it really makes us doubt that there will be peaceful elections," Ghosh added.
He alleged he has heard of efforts to get Trinamool's Birbhum district chief Anubrata Mondal out of jail. "If Anubrata Mondal comes out on bail, then elections will not be peaceful in Birbhum. Blood will be shed during the elections. It will be worse than the last time because they are weaker this time and the opposition has become stronger. To ensure peaceful elections Anubrata needs to stay in jail and central forces need to be deployed," the BJP MP said.