KOLKATA: The Bharatiya Janata Party in West Bengal has been accused of instigating violence by encouraging its party workers to launch attacks on police officers. BJP leader Kalosona Mondal, while addressing a gathering in Birbhum, said the party's main opponent was not the Trinamool Congress, but the police force. Mondal said, “There is nothing to expect from police in this district. If you show them weapons, only then will they listen to us. Don't hit the TMC people. If you hit them, there will be a case. They are not our competitors, the police are. Hit the police, nothing will happen.”
State BJP Mahila Morcha President Locket Chatterjee recently asked women to “resort to violence when required”. She reportedly said, “(In a) few incidents that have occurred in past few days, police has taken no steps for that. That's why I am requesting the women to equip themselves with arms in order to protect themselves.” Amid tensions between the BJP and TMC in the state, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the former's plea against a Calcutta High Court order not allowing its Rath Yatra in the state. The matter was mentioned for urgent hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul which agreed to hear it this week.
The party had approached the apex court seeking permission to hold the campaign 'Save Democracy Rally', which would cover 42 parliamentary constituencies in the state ahead of the 2019 general elections. It had challenged the December 21 order of a division bench of the high court which had set aside the order of a single judge allowing the yatra. In the plea, the BJP had said that their fundamental right to hold a peaceful yatra cannot be withheld.