Trinamool leader Madan Mitra stirred controversy on Sunday by claiming that those involved in violence and attacks on police during BJP’s march to the West Bengal secretariat be “taught a lesson in just ten minutes”.
At the same time, Mitra, a former minister of the state, hastened to add that TMC is not in favour of such an action in retaliation to BJP’s “disruptive policies”.
The maverick MLA said he only wanted to tell the BJP “what TMC can do but will not go to that extent”.
Senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha hit back saying TMC leaders are increasingly making dangerous comments and have lost the support of the people.
Mitra speaking at a public meeting in his Kamarhati constituency said, “If there is an instruction from the party’s higher-ups it won’t take more than ten minutes to thrash those who were involved in hooliganism and vandalism, attacked government properties, threatened TMC and the administration (during the march) and to teach them the lesson they deserve. Also to the one who asked the police do not to touch him (BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari)”.
He was alluding to comments by Suvendu Adhikari, the leader of the opposition, to a woman police person while being arrested before the start of the September 13 march to the secretariat.
“We can retaliate with double the force than the attackers. We can send two boys on a bike who will hurl four crude bombs, which will make all these people who indulge in tall talks scamper away,” Mitra said continuing with his bluster.
“But there is no credit in such action, there is nothing glorious about it. TMC has emphasised it wants development not violence. It speaks the language of love and compassion not vandalism,” he added.
In the violence during BJP’s march to the secretariat several police personnel, including an assistant commissioner of Kolkata Police were injured, a police vehicle was torched and many activists of the saffron party, including former deputy mayor Meena Devi Purohit were wounded. Police had in its turn burst tear gas shells and used water cannons to quell stone-pelting BJP protestors.
Sinha hit back at Mitra saying “TMC leaders are increasingly making such dangerous comments like lumpens as they are losing the support of common people. We will see more such comments by these leaders to scare the opposition. But the days of TMC are numbered.” TMC MP Santanu Sen said BJP has no support from the people of Bengal. Hence comments of leaders like Sinha should not be given importance.
Mitra’s comments came after TMC general secretary and MP Abhishek Banerjee saying on September 14 “If I was there, I would have shot them (the violent BJP protestors) in the head. If the police wanted to teach the stone-pelters a lesson, they could have opened fire on them. The game would have ended even before it had started”.
More than 20 people were arrested in specific cases of assault on police officers and destruction of government property in Kolkata and Howrah during the march. The saffron camp, however, maintained that none of their workers were involved in violence.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)