New Delhi: The West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president, Dilip Ghosh, has sought union Home Minister Amit Shah’s urgent intervention to “restore law and order” in the state in the wake of the recent arrest of the six alleged Al-Qaeda operatives from the state.
In a letter addressed to Shah and dated 22 September, Ghosh, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Medinipur constituency, claimed that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government is neither capable of nor willing to provide the people of West Bengal a safe environment that is needed for the state’s progress.
He has further alleged that the policies followed by the Mamata Banerjee-led government “have turned West Bengal into a fertile breeding ground for terrorism”.
“Under TMC rule, West Bengal has seen the blossoming of the illegal bomb and weapon making industry, as the ruling party is dependent upon violence to maintain its position of power,” Ghosh has alleged in the letter, which has been accessed by ThePrint. “This has once again enabled terrorist activities as the material needed by them are already easily available in the state… Many madrasas, which are supposed to be centres of learning, have been turned into factories of radicalisation by terror outfits. Thus, the TMC has for its petty political considerations put the security of our nation at great risk.”
Ghosh has urged Shah to intervene and “establish law and order, free and fair democracy, security and peace in West Bengal”.
“I would like to urge you and the Central government to take all necessary steps to create the conditions required for citizens to exercise their democratic right to vote fearlessly and thus ensure free and fair elections in West Bengal,” the letter reads.
Ghosh’s letter comes barely months before a crucial assembly election early next year. After losing a string of state elections, the BJP has made West Bengal a priority, making concerted efforts to pay attention to the upcoming polls that have the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in a spot.
The BJP has been making steady inroads in Bengal, where it won 18 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2019, increasing its numbers from a mere two seats in the 2014 elections. The BJP has decided to get an early start in laying the groundwork for the 2021 assembly elections.
‘Restore law and order’
In his letter titled ‘Rising threat to state and national security from terrorist and Maoist activity in West Bengal and consequent risk to free and fair elections’, Ghosh has claimed that West Bengal government was endangering the security of the nation.
“I would first like to convey my sincere admiration for the stellar work done by you as the Union Home Minister to keep our country safe and secure,” the letter states.
“Unfortunately, this environment of safety, which is crucial to our progress, is under serious threat in the state of West Bengal. What is even more concerning is that these threats are not ordinary in nature and have the potential to put the security of the entire country at risk.”
Ghosh has also highlighted the recent arrests made by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the state.
“On the 19th of September 2020, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested 6 Al-Qaeda operatives from the Murshidabad district in West Bengal. Sadly, the presence of such terrorists in West Bengal is not a one-off occurrence,” he has alleged. “Over the past few years, there has been a rapid growth in the activity of notorious terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh in the state.”
Ghosh claimed that the TMC was putting the nation’s security under great risk due to
petty political considerations.
“At this moment, it is not enough to remark just upon the presence of these terrorists in the state. It is equally important for us to look into the factors that have turned West Bengal into fertile breeding ground for terrorism,” the letter states. “The answer lies in the policies that the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) has followed over the past nine years.”
TMC’s policy of ‘overt-appeasement’ & a Naxal threat
Ghosh added that the “policy of overt appeasement by the TMC to retain its vote bank has enabled radical, Islamic terror outfits to carry on their nefarious activities with little interference”.
He also claimed that there is a resurgence of Maoist activities in the Jangalmahal region, adding that it is another “threat” to the law and order situation in the state. “The timing of the resurgence of the Maoists puts the role of the TMC in the spotlight,” the letter states.
Ghosh also said that Maoist leader Chhatradhar Mahato was not only released by the TMC government but has also been made a ruling party office-bearer.
“The unchecked killing of BJP workers by the TMC and the rampant violence perpetrated by the TMC in the past elections clearly show that the TMC is likely to use these disruptive forces to ensure free and fair elections are not possible in West Bengal,” his letter states.
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