'Jungle Raj prevails’: BJP team on Kolkata stir. 'Political tourists', says TMC
‘Nabanna Chalo’ protest march: A five-member BJP delegation reached Kolkata to meet the injured party workers and supporters. The team will submit its report on the police action to party president JP Nadda.
A BJP "fact-finding" team - that visited Kolkata to meet the hospitalised party workers and supporters injured in the violent protests during the ‘Nabanna Chalo’ march - said on Saturday that ‘Jungle Raj (rule of the forest)’ prevailed in the state and that the ruling Trinamool Congress will learn its lesson in the next parliamentary polls. The ruling party in the state, however, hit back calling the visiting team members "political tourists".
A five-member BJP team, comprising Rajya Sabha MP Brij Lal and former Union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, visited the state-run hospital where the party workers are undergoing treatment. Rajya Sabha MP Samir Oraon, Lok Sabha MP Aparajita Sarangi, and Punjab's BJP leader Sunil Jakhar were among members of the delegation.
“We are shocked after getting the first-hand information about the brutal police torture on our peaceful protesters who were going to 'Nabanna' to voice grievances of candidates who were deprived of getting school jobs despite having adequate qualifications,” Lal said.
“It seems that Jungle Raj prevails in the state, and the police are acting partisan. There is a reign of autocracy in the state. The TMC will get a befitting reply in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,” he added.
Lal went on to say that BJP was "proud of its valiant party workers" who have been fighting tooth and nail against the “corrupt” regime in Bengal. “Our party workers are beaten up and put behind bars as we raise our voices… Such threats won't be able to stop us,” he said. The team will soon submit its report on the police action to party president JP Nadda.
The comment drew a sharp retort from the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress, which claimed that BJP will struggle to win Lok Sabha seats in the state during the 2024 polls. Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh described the visiting saffron party leaders as “political tourists”.
"They are here to support hooliganism in the name of protests. They want to create instability in West Bengal which will never succeed. They will struggle to win seats in the next Lok Sabha polls," he said.
Abhishek Banerjee had on September 14 said democratic protesters would not torch a police vehicle or assault a cop who had only a walkie-talkie in his hand. He was talking to reporters after visiting assistant commissioner of police Debjit Chatterjee, who was injured during the rally, at SSKM Hospital.
Senior TMC leader and state Industry Minister Shashi Panja accused the BJP's fact-finding team of instigating political violence in the state. “What happened on September 13 was hooliganism and vandalism by the BJP workers. We condemn it. The fact-finding team is uttering lies and instigating political violence in the state. The team should have also visited the police officer who the BJP workers brutally beat up,” Panja said.
A riot-like situation unfolded in Kolkata earlier this week where BJP supporters got into pitched battles with cops, threw stones at them, torched a vehicle, and damaged a kiosk, while the cops used batons and water cannons to disperse the protesters. Several persons from both sides were injured in the melee.
(With PTI inputs)