Kolkata: The West Bengal unit of the BJP is planning to rope in Hindutva preacher Swami Aseemanand for campaigning for the upcoming Panchayat polls and later to work for strengthening the party base in the state following his acquittal in the Mecca Masjid blast case earlier this week.
"I have personally known Swami Aseemanand for a long time. I have spoken to him earlier and told him that the situation in Bengal is bad and we need him to work here. He has agreed," BJP state president Dilip Ghosh told Indian Express.
Ghosh said that now that Aseemanand has been acquitted, he will work with the party in the state. "He will speak during the campaign period of panchayat polls. We are yet to work out the details," he added.
A special anti-terror court on Monday had acquitted the 66-year-old self-proclaimed monk and four others in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, holding that the prosecution failed to prove "even a single allegation" against them.
Aseemanand's younger brother, Sushanta Sarkar, is presently the secretary of the BJP's Hooghly unit. Sarkar said he would be happy if his brother returned to the state for work.
"Our entire family is dedicated towards the Sangh Parivar. If my brother comes to Bengal and wants to work here, we will be very happy," Sarkar said.
Another state BJP leader said although Aseemanand is an apolitical person, the saffron party would welcome him if he is willing to come to Bengal and work here, especially among the tribals.
Born as Naba Kumar Sarkar at Kamaarpukar in West Bengal's Hooghly district, Aseemanand completed his graduation in science in 1971. The self-proclaimed monk is known for his fiery speech and anti-minority stance.
He became involved with right-wing groups from school, going on to work full time with the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in Purulia and Bankura districts in the state. It was at the Ashram that Naba Kumar Sarkar was christened Swami Aseemanand in 1981.(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)