New Delhi: The West Bengal BJP has hit out at “intellectuals” for their silence on “political killings” of its workers in the state. The BJP said they are “known to support the ruling party”, be it the Left Front earlier or the Trinamool Congress now.
State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said the intellectuals are not willing to raise their voice against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the atrocities being committed against BJP workers.
His comments were in reference to an open letter written by 49 celebrities, including filmmakers Aparna Sen, Anurag Kashyap, Mani Ratnam and actor/director Konkona Sen Sharma, who had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July expressing concern over the growing the cases of lynching. The signatories had said ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become a war cry today.
“Most of the 49 intellectuals who sent the letter to PM are from Bengal. But those same people don’t speak about political killings of BJP workers in the state. The so-called intellectuals remain silent then. They have become silent supporters of the ruling party,” he said.
“There’s a continuous cycle of violence in West Bengal. In the past 1.5 years, there have been over 70 deaths. Almost 28,000 illegal cases have been registered against BJP workers. But they have preferred to remain mute spectators,” Ghosh said at an outreach programme organised by ‘Save Bengal’ initiative of the BJP, which was launched in 2018 through the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, a think tank affiliated to the party.
Anirban Ganguli, convener of the ‘Save Bengal’ campaign, also pointed out that there are many in the intellectual community who are “quietly siding with us”.
Buoyed by membership drive
The West Bengal BJP is charged up as it did significantly well in the recently-concluded membership drive, gaining more than 80 lakh members.
This comes as another shot in the arm for the BJP in the eastern state after its impressive Lok Sabha election performance — it won 18 seats compared to the ruling Trinamool Congress’ 22.
The party is now gearing up for municipal and assembly elections in the state, and is trying to expand its base to the booth level.
Banerjee, the Trinamool chief, is taking the BJP’s threat seriously, having recently hired political strategist Prashant Kishor to manage her 2021 assembly election campaign.