BJP leader warns of central rule in Bengal amid violence over Citizenship Act
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s national secretary Rahul Sinha said Mamata Banerjee has done little to contain the spiralling violence.Updated: Dec 15, 2019 09:55 IST
Imposing President’s Rule would be the only option left if violence over the Citizenship Act continued in West Bengal, the BJP has warned as it blamed chief minister Mamata Banerjee for her “appeasement policies”.
A mob torched at least four trains, more than two dozen vehicles and six station complexes in various districts of the state on Saturday as protesters continued to block roads and disrupt railway services over the amended Citizenship Act.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s national secretary Rahul Sinha said Mamata Banerjee has done little to contain the spiralling violence.
“We (BJP) never support President’s Rule. But if such anarchy continues in West Bengal, we will be left with no option but to seek President’s Rule in the state. The TMC government is just a mute spectator when the entire state is burning,” Sinha said while speaking to reporters on Saturday.
Sinha also hit out at Mamata Banerjee for not taking action against those indulging in violence and said she had herself instigated the mob through her statements.
“Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators are behind the violence and not the peace-loving Muslim community here. The Muslim community of Bengal should be alert that its name is not tarnished by the rioters,” he said.
Sinha also referred to Banerjee’s warning to those destroying public property, saying she was issuing “routine statement after seeing the conduct of her brothers.
Before Sinha’s comments came, Mamata Banerjee had warned of stern action against those involved in vandalising public property and urged people to maintain peace and tranquillity and protest democratically.
“Once again I appeal to all not to resort to violence and disturb public order, tranquillity and peace,” Banerjee was quoted as saying in a statement issued for the second time on Saturday.
She had also reiterated that the amended citizenship act and the proposed country-wide National Register of Citizens will not be implemented in the state.
The chief minister’s office had also released a video in which Mamata Banerjee appealed for calm.
The president of the BJP’s West Bengal unit Dilip Ghosh also accused the chief minister of encouraging “this politics of destroying public property when she was in the opposition”.
“Now her own policy of appeasement, her past conduct has backfired on her as the situation in Bengal is turning dangerous. She has lost control over the situation,” he said.
Senior Trinamool Congress leader and Kolkata’s mayor Firhad Hakim condemned the violence and said it will only help the BJP in polarising the people of the state.
Banerjee’s appeal also drew a sharp reaction from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) as its state secretary Surya Kanta Mishra alleged Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress “deliberately didn’t do anything to control the situation”.
“The violence is being deliberately instigated by both the TMC and BJP to communally polarise the politics of Bengal,” Mishra said.
Violent protests continued to rock West Bengal for the second consecutive day on Saturday.
A mob torched at least four trains at Krishnapur station in Murshidabad, ransacked the railway complex and also set it on fire. So were six station complexes in Howrah and Murshidabad. A toll plaza in Murshidabad was also set ablaze.
Protesters hurled stones at the Maldah–Katihar passenger train. There were no reports of any injuries though.
They also uprooted railway tracks in several places, blocked roads and highways with burning tyres and clashed with the police. Police vans and fire tenders were also set ablaze. Train services between Howrah and Kharagpur were completely cut off.
Railway officials and personnel of the Railway Protection Force were heckled by the mob in Murshidabad district. Fresh violence was also reported from Malda and North 24 Parganas district where an irate mob blocked the roads to stage a demonstration.
Political clashes also broke out in South 24 Parganas and Malda where a Trinamool Congress’ leader’s house was ransacked and put on fire.