Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh attacked allegedly by Trinamool goons

Published : July 01, 2020 20:26 IST

West Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh. Photo: Ashok Bhaumik/PTI

With the Assembly elections in West Bengal barely 10 months away, political tension already seems to be running high, with violence breaking out with greater frequency between the two main contestants —the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In the latest incident, the State BJP president and Lok Sabha MP Dilip Ghosh was attacked, allegedly by Trinamool workers, on the morning of July 1.

Ghosh was following his almost daily practice of having a morning cup of tea at a roadside stall and chatting with the local people, when a gang of miscreants, apparently belonging to the Trinamool Congress, attacked him and other BJP members who were present on the scene. They reportedly at first told Ghosh and his people to leave the area, which led to a heated argument, and then, according to the BJP, they tried to attack Ghosh and those who were with him, and a scuffle ensued. The security personnel accompanying Ghosh intervened and took him away to a safe place. The BJP alleged that the miscreants also attacked Ghosh’s car. "Repeatedly it is being proved that in Bengal there is neither any democracy nor even the bare minimum space for the opposition parties,” said Ghosh after the incident.

He further alleged that ever since he moved to a new residence (from Salt Lake to New Town), Trinamool members have been menacing the local people and Ghosh’s landlord for allowing him to stay there. “I change my residence every year. As my security entourage has increased I needed a new place, and recently a person allowed me stay in his flat. The day I shifted there, Trinamool goons came and threatened the owner of the house, wanting to know why he has allowed Dilip Ghosh to stay in his flat. They began to harass him by demanding to see the legal papers of the house and the land,” said Ghosh.

Trinamool, however, dismissed the allegations. “Every day we hear allegations, and every day our party denies these allegations. I definitely believe that the Trinamool party has no reason to resort to violence. If certain people are thinking that what had happened in the Lok Sabha elections (in which the BJP won 18 out of the 42 seats in the State and secured 40 per cent of the votes) will be reflected in the Assembly elections as well, then they are wrong. In the coming Assembly elections it will be made amply clear in which position the people of West Bengal want to keep Mamata Banerjee (Chief Minister and Trinamool supremo), and how deeply entrenched the Trinamool party is within the soil of Bengal," said party heavyweight and five-time Lok Sabha MP Sudip Bandopadhyay.

The attack on Ghosh is being taken seriously in political quarters. He is not only the chief of the BJP unit in Bengal and a Lok Sabha member, he is also one of the most visible political figures in the State, and is perceived to be the main face of the opposition to the Trinamool.

The other main opposition parties, the Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist), also condemned the incident. Congress heavyweight from Bengal and Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, "I am ideologically and politically opposed to the BJP, but I cannot deny the fact that they have won an election and have come to power. In West Bengal, there may be BJP leaders whose ideology and opinions may not be liked by Mamata Banerjee. There are many things about Mamata Banerjee that we do not like. But to attack the president of a political party for that reason is something that cannot be tolerated. This is ruining the reputation of the State and is demonstrating how the State government behaves with the opposition parties."

Veteran CPI(M) leader and Leader of the Left Legislature Party in the West Bengal Assembly Sujan Chakraborty believes that by such acts the Trinamool is only making things easier for the BJP. "Every individual has the right to take part in political activities. But to attack someone just because they do not agree with his politics is autocratic behaviour and is just not acceptable. By doing this Trinamool is only helping Dilip Ghosh and the BJP. This is wrong and we strongly condemn it,” said Chakraborty.