‘Beat up TMC workers, leave the rest to me’: BJP Bengal chief to supporters
Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Bengal unit president Dilip Ghosh sparked a yet another controversy on Monday by urging his party supporters to beat up workers of ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) or policemen and leave the rest to him.
“We would not spare anybody, irrespective of whether he is a TMC worker or a policeman…. I am telling you, if you don’t beat them up, you are not a BJP man. No matter whether he is a TMC man or a cop, beat him up, throw him away. I shall take care of the rest,” said Ghosh while addressing a public meeting in Mecheda of East Midnapore district, about 70 km southeast of Kolkata.
In the course of an incendiary speech, he went on to say that TMC workers could be quashed like flies and mosquitoes.
“If Chidambaram can go to jail, who are you? He was the finance minister and home minister of the country… You (TMC workers) are just like a fly or mosquito to me,” said Ghosh to the applause of supporters.
Explaining his ire Ghosh also said that ruling party workers and the police were conspiring to frame BJP workers in false cases. “Before the panchayat elections (in 2018), they registered thousands of cases. Now 400-500 of our men are in jail,” said Ghosh and went on to warn that those who are harassing BJP supporters would face dire consequences eventually.
His comments promptly drew wide condemnation from political opponents.
“I have not seen any leader with such poor grasp of the language like Dilip Ghosh. If he uses such words to pep up party supporters, I have nothing else to say,” said Udayan Guha, a legislator of ruling Trinamool Congress.
“It’s extremely unfortunate. Dilip Ghosh’s words belong to the opposite pole of the culture that the people of Bengal cherish. His words indicate that he has lost his mind, or that he does not understand the meaning of human rights,” said Left legislator Sujan Chakraborty.
“We don’t really expect anything else from them. But if they dare try to do what Dilip Ghsoh said, the administration will also not keep quiet,” said TMC legislator from Ramnagar constituency in East Midnapore district Akhil Giri.
Under fire for his call to violence , the Bengal BJP chief offered an explanation on Tuesday and sought to justify his speech.
“We felt that violence is required to end violence. Otherwise, our existence will be in jeopardy. So I have told our workers that they should not get beaten up and then come crying to me. Have told them to get even,” said Ghosh on Tuesday in Kolkata.
Ghosh’s comments came just a week after he said that a woman who was allegedly beaten up by party supporters, was “let off with a light dose” and deserved sound beating in Basirhat area of North 24 Parganas district on August 19.
The woman in her late 20s had wanted to hand over a letter to Ghosh when he was getting into his car after addressing a meeting of party workers when BJP supporters dragged her away and thrashed her. The incident happened in front of Ghosh.
Opposition leaders had condemned Ghosh for his Basirhat remarks too.
Ghosh (55) is the MP from Kharagpur constituency from West Midnapore district. A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak for more than a decade before he was deputed to the BJP’s state unit in November 2014, Ghosh is known for his abrasive speech.