‘Jungle Raj’ in Bengal,’ says Nadda; stung TMC leaders hit back
Nadda offering prayers for his party workers was a unique event in Bengal, where a practice of Hindu males offering prayers (tarpan) for the souls of ancestors is common, but rarely has the ritual witnessed a political pitch.Updated: Sep 28, 2019 19:21 IST
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) working president J P Nadda on Saturday hit out at Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress and alleged that “jungle raj” was prevailing in the state where the protector has turned into a predator.
Using strong words in a speech delivered on the banks of the Hooghly river where he had gone to offer prayers for the souls of party workers allegedly killed in the state over the past couple of years, Nadda said, “There is no law and order here. It’s jungle raj. Democracy is being throttled. Every day round- the-clock those professing a different school of thought are being physically liquidated.”
The BJP leader remarked that all this was the result of chief minister Mamata Banerjee losing political ground from below her feet.
Nadda offering prayers for his party workers was a unique event in Bengal, where a practice of Hindu males offering prayers (tarpan) for the souls of ancestors is common, but rarely has the ritual witnessed a political pitch. The ritual is conducted standing in knee-deep to waist-deep waters on Mahalaya, which falls just seven days before Durga Puja.
Family members of several victims were present on the banks of the Hooghly River with urns containing ashes of their relatives. BJP leaders Dilip Ghosh (Bengal unit president), Kailash Vijayvargiya (national general secretary), Rahul Sinha (national secretary), Mukul Roy (national executive member) and a few recently elected MPs were present too at the Bagbazar Ghat where the programme was held.
“Here the government is neither establishing a rule of law, nor leaving room for judicial remedy... The police have turned into mute spectators. Protectors have turned into predators. During the (2018) panchayat elections more than 3,000 people had to leave their homes and seek shelter elsewhere. Till now about 800 have not been able to return to their families,” added Nadda.
Nadda alleged that in Bengal in the past two-three years there have been about 2,500 cases of attacks (on their supporters) and 80 people have lost their lives. “Houses were set on fire and more than 100 party offices were taken away from us,” he said.
“She (Mamata Banerjee) has got no vision, no direction and nothing to give to the people of West Bengal. It’s only violence, violence and violence,” said the BJP leader, vowing they would end the ‘jungle raj’ in the state.
Senior Trinamool Congress leaders hit back. “Usually one can offer prayers for any departed soul, but one usually offers it to ones ancestors. I have respect for traditions like tarpan, but politics has a different and distinct place. I am not in favour of using tarpan for politics,” said minister and senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Subrata Mukherjee.
Prominent TMC MP Saugata Roy said, “Tarpan is done for ones ancestors. They (BJP) are using it for politicals ends. Trinamool Congress will continue in Bengal.”
Referring to incidents in BJP-ruled states, minister and Kolkata mayor Firhad Hakim remarked that Nadda himself has come from areas under “jungle raj”.
First Published: Sep 28, 2019 19:20 IST