In a bizarrely sardonic comment against the BJP, TMC leader Subrata Mukherjee suggested that Bengal unit of the BJP shun organising small agitations in the state and do something big wherein police is forced to open fire and kill 20 people. Mukherjee’s statement trivializing the death of protestors in a movement was in the context of BJP’s state-wide agitation.
Since the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has been organising campaigns across West Bengal to increase their presence and make people aware of TMC’s false promises and maladministration. The party made deep inroads in the state by winning an unprecedented 18 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats.
Mukherjee himself lost Lok Sabha elections from Bankura to a BJP candidate. Perhaps he is still nursing from the poll drubbing, which is why he tried to mock the sustained campaigns carried out by the BJP in the state, particularly in the cut money issue.
“Low-intensity protests can’t take you too far. Instead, try something big. In small agitations, police will only stop, there will be anarchy and lawlessness, some photos will be clicked and that’s it. The end result is not very inspiring. Do something such that police opens fire and 20 people die,” Mukherjee said.
Citing the food protest that shook the state nearly five decades ago, Mukherjee claimed that particular event had led to the change in the government. However, Mamata Banerjee’s ascension to power was a result of the uproar and tumult following an incident during the Nandigram movement when police fired on protestors leading to the deaths of many farmers.
In many parts of the state, police have been up in arms against the BJP workers who have organised a state-wide protest regarding giving back the cut money taken for government work, and law and order situation in the state. Mukherjee’s comments come at a time when the TMC government in the state has been accused of sponsoring deaths of their political adversaries by allegedly employing state machinery.
Recently, in the violence-stricken Bengal, 3 BJP workers, including a 14-year-old boy were shot for chanting Jai Shri Ram. Last month, in a clash between BJP-TMC workers, 2 people were killed and 3 injured. In the post-poll violence, a BJP leader was shot at and his office was vandalised and cars set ablaze.
Violence has perhaps, become a leitmotif in the state of West Bengal because leaders like Mukherjee insensitively trivialise deaths of political workers.