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Bengal BJP leader tells party workers to carry sticks to rallies after Amit Shah rally clash

A day after BJP party supporters clashed with Trinamool Congress workers in Bengal following Amit Shah’s public meeting, a saffron party leader Rahul Sinha asked workers to carry sticks to all meetings.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2019 19:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
BJP,Bengal,meeting
BJP leader Rahul Sinha Rahul Sinha asked workers to carry sticks to all meetings. (Samir Jana / Hindustan Times)

A day after BJP party supporters clashed with Trinamool Congress workers in Bengal following party president Amit Shah’s public meeting on Tuesday, a saffron party leader Rahul Sinha asked workers to carry sticks to all meetings.

“I am telling our supporters that they should be carrying bundles of sticks to all public rallies in the state till this government is in power. These sticks should not be used to attack others, but for defence,” the BJP national secretary said at a press conference in Burdwan.

“After the attack by Trinamool supporters following Amit Shah’s rally in Contai, we have to say this,” said Sinha, who was a past president of the Bengal unit of the BJP.

BJP leaders alleged on Tuesday that their workers were beaten up by TMC supporters who were carrying sticks.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee reportedly told Union home minister Rajnath Singh to rein in BJP workers after the latter called her following the clashes.

Though violence is a part of politics in Bengal and even senior leaders issue threats of violent reprisals against their opponents, Sinha’s appeal to party supporters to carry sticks was unprecedented.

Trinamool Congress leaders shot back immediately.

“They carried sticks, knives, bows and arrows and even shotguns on Tuesday itself. Let them carry weapons as long as they want. We are also worth our mother’s milk. We have tackled the (Left violence) in Nandigram. We know very well how to resist them no matter wherever they carry out their mischief in Bengal,” said Sisir Adhikari, TMC MP from Contai.

BJP state unit president Dilip Ghosh too has mentioned carrying stick while delivering a speech on Wednesday.

“Previously, TMC used to deploy goons to scare off our supporters. Now-a-days you carry sticks and they know it and so TMC’s goons have stepped back. Hence, TMC is now using the police to intimidate our supporters,” Ghosh said at a gathering of party supporters in South 24-Parganas district.

East Midnapore police have arrested 11 persons for their role in Tuesday’s vandalism where dozens of buses were vandalised, two-wheelers set on fire and two party offices of TMC set on fire.

First Published: Jan 30, 2019 19:36 IST