Kolkata: Stirring up a controversy, a senior BJP leader on Monday cautioned the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal that if the attacks continued on saffron party activists and leaders did not stop in the state, the party will retaliate by targeting four TMC leaders for each such incident in the future.
The immediate trigger of the comment was the alleged attack on Murshidabad district BJP leaders Sudipto Chatterjee and Tapas Ghosh. Bombs were hurled at their car at Domkol in Murshidabad smashing its windscreen when they were returning from a party workshop on Sunday.
West Bengal BJP vice-president Biswapriyo Roy Chowdhury told newsmen that two party leaders had a narrow escape.
BJP leader Manish Shukla was shot dead in full public view near Titagarh police station in the outskirts of the city on October 4 in a conspiracy hatched by the ruling TMC, he alleged.
“Every day our workers and leaders are under attack. Some are being killed. If there is no proper investigation into the incidents, if the culprits are not tracked and arrested, we will be forced to take a different path. We will first protest, then resist and ultimately retaliate,” Roy Chowdhury said.
He cited the example of Kerala, where, he said “The RSS and BJP came under attack there in the past by Marxists.“
When democratic protests failed, four (Marxists) were targeted for every single RSS-BJP activist killed.
“If all other ways of protest fail to yield results, if the prime accused in the attacks are not punished, we will adopt the same formula of four for one in West Bengal. We will choose district-level leaders, state-level leaders,” the BJP leader said.
On persistent queries on his comment, Roy Chowdhury said he believed in a peaceful protest in a democracy.
“But if all forms of protest fail and the culprits roam freely if police fail to take action, we have the right to resist and as a final resort to retaliate,” he elaborated.
The leader was, however, quick to add “I can assure that once BJP comes to power in 2021 (state assembly polls) there will be no attacks on political opponents in the state and we will fix the corrupt police officers by legal means”.
The saffron party had earlier claimed that over 100 of its activists, including an MLA, were killed in TMC conspiracies in recent times in the state.
Another state unit vice-president and MP Arjun Singh said the BJP will move the Calcutta High Court demanding a CBI probe into the Manish Shukla murder case.
“If there is a delay in filing the case and hearing we can even approach the Supreme Court with the same demand,” he said and alleged that one of the main accused in the murder was allowed to escape to Bangladesh by the ruling TMC.
On the controversy over the turban episode during BJP’s march to the state secretariat on October 8, he alleged that cadres of the ruling TMC wearing police helmet and jackets had rained blows on the Sikh person whose headgear fell off during a scuffle with the police.
“Had we wanted we could have retaliated against police. We were larger in number on that day. But we didn’t,” Singh added.