Sandeshkhali, West Bengal: “Trinamool Government Has Surpassed CPM’s Rule In Atrocities”: BJP on Sandeshkhali

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'Trinamool Government Has Surpassed CPM's Rule In Atrocities': BJP on Sandeshkhali

Mr Prasad also questioned the INDIA bloc’s “silence” on the issue.

New Delhi:

The Mamata Banerjee-led government has surpassed the erstwhile CPM dispensation in subjecting the people of West Bengal to atrocities, the BJP claimed on Wednesday, saying the people will give a befitting reply to the ruling Trinamool Congress in the Lok Sabha elections.

Raising the issue of alleged sexual harassment of women in Sadeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, senior BJP leader and former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also slammed the Congress and other constituents of the opposition INDIA bloc, questioning their silence on the matter.

“The Sandeshkhali issue is becoming very serious. The assault, humiliating treatment, sexual assault on women is a shame on our society and democracy,” Mr Prasad said at a press conference at the BJP headquarters in the national capital.

The BJP leader also slammed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for “defending” such incidents and her party leader Sheikh Shajahan, questioning her conscience and that of the other opposition parties.

“When Mamata Banerjee struggled (in the past) against the CPM’s atrocities and sat on an indefinite agitation against it, we all had become her fan and lauded her struggle. Today, her atrocity, police repression, has surpassed that of the (then) CPM (rule),” he charged.

Mr Prasad alleged that Ms Banerjee has prioritised saving her political credibility over the honour of women in the state and was using police power to suppress them, putting their dignity at stake, despite being a woman chief minister.

He also slammed a special investigation team set up by the chief minister to probe the allegations, alleging that it is repeatedly asking the same questions to the victims and humiliating them to break their morale.

Under Ms Banerjee’s leadership, there is complete lawlessness in West Bengal, there is neither human sympathy nor dignity for women, Mr Prasad charged and affirmed the BJP’s support to the victims of alleged atrocities in the state.

“It’s a shame. Where is her conscience,” he asked, adding, “Mamata ji, you will have to give a reply. Mamata ji, you will have to pay for it. People will give a political reply to you.”

The riverine Sandeshkhali area — situated on the borders of the Sunderbans, about 100 kilometres from Kolkata — has been witnessing protests after local women accused Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shajahan, who is on the run, and his supporters of land grab and sexual assault.

Mr Prasad condemned the Congress top brass, the AAP, Left parties and other constituents of the INDIA bloc for not speaking out on the Sandeshkhali issue and said their silence is evidence of their “sheer hypocrisy and utter double standards”.

“The opposition’s pursuit of votes knows no bounds. It’s noteworthy how they remained silent on triple talaq while the government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, introduced a bill (banning the practice). This silence persists even today,” he said.

“When votes are at stake, the opposition tends to disregard the dignity of women. Whether a woman faces eviction from her home with the words ‘talaq, talaq, talaq’ or suffers dishonour in silence, these individuals opt to ignore her suffering,” he added.

Mr Prasad also condemned the arrest of a news channel reporter by the West Bengal Police.

“One incident happened in Chandigarh. We respect the Supreme Court’s decision. That is a closed chapter. But all are giving speeches in chorus on that. But all of them are silent on the robbing of women’s dignity in Sandeshkhali,” the BJP leader said, referring to the top court’s verdict on the Chandigarh mayoral polls.

Mr Prasad said, “Yesterday (Tuesday), I heard a CPM ‘netri (woman leader)’ went there. But the CPM has neither formally opposed (the alleged incidents in Sandeshkhali) nor made a public comment on the issue. Rahul Gandhi, who speaks on every issue, is also silent.”

He added, “They say the BJP is undemocratic, people are not safe under the BJP. Today, under Mamata Banerjee’s rule, women are not safe. They are being subjected to police repression. And Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, communists — all of them are silent.”

Asked if the BJP would demand the imposition of President’s Rule in West Bengal amid the prevailing situation, Mr Prasad said, “We are not like the Congress. We believe in the Constitution and abide by it… Let’s see the public response in the Lok Sabha polls. Many times, people’s votes and opinions are so effective,” he added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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