Amit Shah skeds Bengal visit next week to amp up offensive over Nadda attack
Concerned about the law and order situation in the state following Thursday’s stone attack on BJP chief JP Nadda’s convoy at Diamond Harbour, home minister Amit Shah is set to visit the state for a two-day visit from December 19, said BJP leaders aware of developments.
Shah had visited Bengal last month - on November 4 - to formulate campaign strategy for the assembly polls due early next year. He also took part in outreach programmes. The party earlier said he and Nadda would take turns in visiting the state every month. It was Nadda’s turn to visit Bengal in December.
Cars of several party leaders, including that of BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya and West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh which were part of the convoy, were also damaged in the attack. “Nadda was saved because he was in a bullet-proof car provided by the local police. But the car took some hits,” said Roy.
The home minister condemned the incident on Thursday and telephoned Nadda and Roy, said state BJP general secretary Sayantan Basu. “Shah will be in Bengal on December 19 and 20. The schedule was finalised quickly,” said Basu.
“The attack on BJP president JP Nadda is condemnable. No matter how much we condemn, it will not be enough. The Centre is taking this very seriously. The West Bengal government will be answerable to the peace-loving people of the state for this,” Shah tweeted in Hindi on Thursday.
The cavalcade was attacked at Serakhol in Diamond Harbour, the Lok Sabha constituency of Abhishek Banerjee, who is chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew.
The Union home ministry on Thursday asked state governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to submit a report on law and order situation in the state and steps taken by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government to maintain peace.
“The law and order situation in the state has been continually worsening for long in spite of my caution to the chief minister, the police and the administration on numerous occasions. I find the situation alarming and I have sent a report to the central government on these extremely disturbing developments. I do not wish to share the content of my report,” Dhankhar told the media on Friday afternoon.
Mukul Roy, with whom Shah had a conversation early this morning, said, “I witnessed the attack. I strongly feel that the current situation calls for imposition of President’s rule under Article 356 of the Constitution.”
The Union home ministry also asked chief secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay and director general of police Virendra to appear before it in Delhi on December 14.
On Friday evening, Bandopadhyay wrote to Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla and sought relief from personal appearance. He wrote that action is being taken by the state police and security cover was provided to Nadda. The letter, which has been seen by HT, said three cases have been registered, of which two pertain to vandalism.