BJP Central Team In Kolkata To Assess Post-Poll Violence, Ravi Shankar Prasad Says 'If Mamata Believes In...'

Prasad asked the BJP legal cell to appeal in the High Court with the details of the alleged post-poll violence victims and seek protection for them.

The 4-member BJP team arriving in Kolkata, with Agnimitra Paul (R). Photo: X/@ANI

A four-member central team of the Bharatiya Janata Party including senior leaders Ravi Shankar Prasad and Biplab Kumar Deb arrived in Kolkata on Sunday evening to assess the situation after alleged violence against party workers in West Bengal after the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

The fact-finding committee met some alleged victims of 'post-poll violence', who the BJP claimed were provided shelter by them at a house near the state headquarters in the city.

Notably, the central team also includes BJP MPs Brijlal and Kavita Patidar.

Prasad claimed that people and party workers were afraid and apprehensive about the alleged post-poll violence in the state. "Elections were held across the country, but violence has taken place only in West Bengal," the former Union Minister said.

"If Mamata ji believes in democracy, she has to reply to this," Prasad said.

After meeting the party workers and supporters, Prasad said that the central team listened to their problems. "Mamata ji, what is happening under your regime? People can't go home after voting," he said.

"Brother of one of our party workers was murdered, now he is being threatened. So many leaders from minority community is sitting here and they can't go and celebrate Eid," the senior BJP leader added.

He questioned West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee about the happenings in the state, saying that women, OBC and minorities are affected. "What kind of democracy is this?" he asked.

The former Union Minister said that people have the right to go their own homes, adding that the BJP stands with "these people".

He requested the BJP legal cell to appeal in the High Court with the details of the alleged post-poll violence victims and seek protection for them.

The central team also spoke to BJP leader Agnimitra Paul, who is also an alleged victim of the violence. She told news agency ANI, "In other BJP-ruled states, rockets, Vandebharat and computers are made but in Bengal, under the inspiration of Mamata Banerjee, bombs and terrorists are made. This has been happening for 13 years...everyone knows why the bomb was discovered."

Meanwhile, Biplab Kumar Deb claimed that nearly 10,000 party workers in West Bengal had to flee to their homes over the alleged violence and intimidation following the general elections.

Deb said that the team came to take stock of the situation in the city under the direction of BJP national president JP Nadda, noting that a report will be submitted to him.

The former chief minister of Tripura, Deb, said that the BJP leadership will support its workers in the state and do whatever is needed to save the democracy.

Noting that any political murder has not taken place in Tripura since the BJP came to power in the state in 2018, Deb vowed to quit politics if anyone could show such an incident there.

Ravi Shankar Prasad also remembered his visit to the state during the panchayat elections and the assembly polls in 2021 and claimed that then also violence was prevalent in the state, adding that the same was being repeated now.

"Nowhere in the country such violence takes place," he added.

The fact-finding committee met the alleged victims of post-poll violence at Maheshwari Bhawan, where the former narrated their ordeals.

"Whether it is the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister or the party president, we are all with them (the alleged victims)," senior BJP leader Prasad said.

Meanwhile, a Trinamool Congress spokesperson, Jaiprakash Majumdar, claimed that the allegations of post-poll violence against the state's ruling party were false.

"The accusations are concocted," he said, claiming that the people housed there were not victims of any atrocity.

The Mamata Banerjee-led TMC was victorious in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections with a tally of 29 seats, while the BJP won 12 of the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

(With PTI inputs)