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MP Locket Chatterjee alleges Rohingyas are being brought for settlement in Bengal, says she was boycotted by film industry for joining BJP

BJP MP Locket Chatterjee speaks to OpIndia about West Bengal post poll violence and the iron fisted reign of Mamata Banerjee

Locket Chatterjee, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s MP from Hooghly in West Bengal, has been vocal about the violence perpetrated by Trinamool Congress (TMC) goons in West Bengal. Before becoming an MP in 2019, she was active in Bengali cinema. She has also mastered many dance styles. Locket Chatterjee, who is currently serving as the General Secretary of the Bengal BJP, had also been the chief of the party’s women’s cell in the state. Speaking to OpIndia, she expressed her views on the latest situation in the state and the post-poll violence there.

Question: Before the 2021 assembly elections in West Bengal, there were many reports of violence, and BJP workers were found murdered. But, did the party have any idea that the same violence would continue even after the election results came out?

Answer: Win and loss is a part of the election process. It is not that we have come down from 3 seats to zero. Our seats went from 3 to 77. It was a big achievement for us and we emerged as a big party in the state. After this, the whole scenario was shown as if the TMC has won unilaterally. The violence that followed after the elections across the state, caused 4 lakh people to be displaced.

People had to flee to distances as far as Assam, Odisha, and Delhi. They are not returning out of fear, because so many cases have been registered against them that they will be put in jail on their return. After all, they also have families and children. Their children have to study, but they can’t even take the exams. Women had to flee with their children taking whatever utensils or money they could have with them. Some of the women were pregnant. Even they had to leave their homes in such a situation. They were kept in our camp. Months later, some of the women returned home. Such plight of women under the rule of a woman chief minister is unfortunate.

Question: Eight persons were burnt alive and killed in Rampurhat in Birbhum. Such incidents have taken place during the rule of the Left. Even then the monks were burned alive. What difference do you see between the CPM and TMC regimes?

Answer: Mamata Banerjee’s government has gone way ahead of the Communists in terms of violence. Both are the same. The CPM ruled for more than three decades, followed by a decade of Mamata Banerjee. Atrocities happening today are three to four times harsher than what used to happen in the time of CPM. Whatever people used to be in power in those days, the same people have now joined the TMC. They are the people who commit violence.

Question: Nowadays, there is talk of demography changes. There have been incidents in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh where illegal Muslim immigrants are being deliberately settled. Similarly, in West Bengal, there are reports of increasing hatred towards Hindu in areas like Murshidabad. What reason do you think is behind it?

Answer: We have seen that they (illegal immigrants) used to live in small pockets, but now they are being picked up and settled everywhere. They are being brought from Myanmar and Bangladesh and they are being settled here. Rohingya Muslims have been given Aadhaar cards. They are being given not only government documents like voter ID cards but also houses. Such people are being brought across the border.

The reason is vote bank politics. They can’t trust Hindus, that’s why they do politics of appeasement. They trust Muslim voters, that’s why Muslims are brought from outside of India illegally and settled here. Such people fly back to Bangladesh after committing crimes here. All of them are involved in cow-smuggling and sand-smuggling. Their reach extends to Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. At the same time, atrocities are being committed against Hindus. Hindus were also attacked on Ram Navami. A similar incident took place in Bankura.

Question: A procession of Hindus was attacked in Howrah. Similarly, in Bankura, the only mistake of the Hindus was that they were passing in front of the mosque. 17-18 Hindus were arrested. Where do you see the police and the administration standing in this?

Answer: When the Muharram procession comes out from the front of the mosque, will they dare to arrest the Muslims? They won’t have the courage. In West Bengal, such a cycle of appeasement is going on that Muslims are getting all the facilities, let alone arrest for committing a crime.

Question: Before the West Bengal by-elections, reports were being spread that there was a rift between Locket Chatterjee and the BJP. It was also being said that you were not put on the list of election campaigners. Please make this clear.

Answer: All these things are fake. These people know that the BJP is a family and the biggest family belongs to us. I’m doing the job I’ve been given. I’m a member of this family. Even in the Bhawanipur by-election, when Mamata Banerjee had fought and Babul Supriyo had left the BJP, such things were said. We do the work assigned by the party. I worked in Uttarakhand for 6 months because I was given the responsibility there. We have been trained in that way only. It is the TMC’s strategy that they speak like this to get votes. We march towards our mission and we ignore the opinions of others.

Question: Apart from your political career, you have also had a good career in films. Films in the South are earning thousands of crores of rupees nowadays. Nationalism was shown in ‘RRR’. Similarly, West Bengal also has its own local cinema. No one from the entertainment industry has raised any voice on the violence that has taken place there; Mithun Chakraborty and Yash Dasgupta who had joined the BJP, are exceptions though. Why so?

Answer: The film industry of West Bengal is completely under the control of the Trinamool Congress. I used to be a part of it too. When my career was at its peak, I entered politics. I had no idea then that I would lose my work. I too have a family, and everyone has to take the responsibility for the family. At that time, everyone came together and destroyed all that I had created. Whenever someone joins BJP, they tries to leave him jobless. They attack his bread and butter so he leaves the party. I was boycotted for 4-5 years. I still don’t get work. Well, I don’t have time anymore. The Mamata Banerjee government has control over there. If someone praises the government, he will get work. Opponents are removed. That is why the Bengali film industry is not moving forward. When there are no democratic rights, how can good films be made? There is violence in Bengal and they will show that there is no such thing, then who will watch that film?

Question: In Uttar Pradesh, if even a small incident happens in one district, there is a lot of hue and cry in the media. Rahul Gandhi reaches the BJP-ruled states. However, despite so much violence in West Bengal, that level of coverage is not seen in the national media. Why so?

Answer: We always raise the issue of violence in West Bengal at the national level. In Parliament also, we have raised our voice. There too TMC MPs try to suppress our voice. From there, things come in the national media. But, even more things from West Bengal should be reported. There are incidents happening in West Bengal one after the other, but there has been continuous work to hide and suppress them. That’s why these things don’t come up in the national media.

Question: When you meet the people in your constituency, what do they say?

Answer: The people want change, but due to fear, the common people are not able to say this in public. BJP workers are also scared as they are implicated in false cases. They are arrested. Even the benefits of central schemes (e.g., Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana) for BJP supporters are withheld and all the benefits are given to TMC people. They get the benefits of many schemes at once. People have their own families, they have to take care of them too. But, in 2024, people will show that Bengal wants to move forward under the leadership of Narendra Modi.

Question: What is the BJP doing as an organization for the victims and displaced people of West Bengal violence?

Answer: We’re doing a lot for them. Those whose houses were ransacked are being helped by the party. There are many people who have been given shelter by the BJP government and workers in Assam. We are also helping them in their legal battle.

Question: There are many Communists who were targeted by the TMC for their violence. Congress workers are also suffering. But big leaders like Prakash Karat or Rahul Gandhi are not raising their voices for the suffering workers of their own party. What reason do you see behind it?

Answer: The Congress and the CPM are on a platform with the TMC. In West Bengal also, all of them are together. They have only one intention – to remove Modi. Those who do good deeds and move ahead, all others target them. The same is happening with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There were many scams in Congress, and Narendra Modi fought to bring them to the fore. He did demonetization, which curbed black money. Because of these decisions, these leaders are after him. PM Modi is taking the country ahead.

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अनुपम कुमार सिंह
अनुपम कुमार सिंह
भारत की सनातन परंपरा के पुनर्जागरण के अभियान में 'गिलहरी योगदान' दे रहा एक छोटा सा सिपाही, जिसे भारतीय इतिहास, संस्कृति, राजनीति और सिनेमा की समझ है। पढ़ाई कम्प्यूटर साइंस से हुई, लेकिन यात्रा मीडिया की चल रही है। अपने लेखों के जरिए समसामयिक विषयों के विश्लेषण के साथ-साथ वो चीजें आपके समक्ष लाने का प्रयास करता हूँ, जिन पर मुख्यधारा की मीडिया का एक बड़ा वर्ग पर्दा डालने की कोशिश में लगा रहता है।

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