Feud Out in Open? Bengal BJP Chief Slams Union Min for Terming his Shooting Remark 'Irresponsible'
Dilip Ghosh said Babul Supryo's statement is unfortunate as it is the party's stand to deal strictly with trouble-makers in Uttar Pradesh and other BJP-ruled states and the same would be applicable when the BJP comes to power in Bengal.
File photos of Union Minister Babul Supriyo and Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh.
Kolkata: All may not be well within the Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after its president Dilip Ghosh hit back at Union Minister Babul Supriyo, who termed irresponsible Ghosh’s suggestion to ‘shoot and kill in Bengal those involved damaging public property like what is practised in Uttar Pradesh’.
“Who is the party president? Who will decide on the party’s internal matters? Amit Shahji or him (Babul Supriyo)? I believe you got the answer,” Ghosh told News18.
Addressing a public meeting in Bengal's Nadia district on Sunday, Ghosh came down heavily on Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee "for not opening fire and ordering lathicharge" on those destroying railway property and public transport during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests in the state in December last year.
He said, "Didi's (Banerjee) police didn't take action against the people who destroyed public properties as they are her voters. Our governments in UP, Assam and Karnataka has shot these people like dogs."
Hours later, the Union minister said no BJP government in any state was involved in such practices and the former should not have made such a remark.
He took to Twitter and wrote, “BJP, as a party has nothing to do with what a DIlip Ghosh may have said. It is a figment of his imagination & BJP Govts in UP, Assam hv NEVER EVER resorted to shooting people for whatever reason whatsoever. Very irresponsible of Dilip Da to hv said what he said.”
Later, Ghosh said, “It is unfortunate (Supriyo’s criticism). All I would like to say is that in Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, the state governments punished those who damaged properties and took law in their hands. Police firing took place and case was also filed. There is nothing hidden. It’s a party stand to deal strictly with trouble-makers in Uttar Pradesh and other BJP-ruled states. Damaging public properties and holding the entire state to ransom cannot be tolerated.”
“My statement was in Bengal’s context where the chief minister acted as a mute spectator and a section of people damaged railway property and public transport systems during the anti-Citizenship Act protests in December. I said the Bengal government should have acted in a similar manner like Uttar Pradesh. If we come to power in Bengal, we will deal with them in a similar manner.”
When asked if Supriyo’s tweet could send a wrong message to other parties, Ghosh said, “Such things have happened on a number of occasions. There are some non-political persons in the party who make such statements. Look at (former BJP leaders) Navjot Singh Sidhu, Shatrughan Sinha and Chandra Bose. Everyone knows what they did and are doing. They have their own agenda. If you want to use their image, then you have to bear such things.”
“Earlier too he (Supriyo) had created issues over the size of his photographs in banners during a public meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in West Midnapore (in July 2018). I had then told him not to raise such trivial issues and reminded him that our priority is to strengthen the party in Bengal. I think all the party leaders should concentrate on the upcoming municipal and Assembly polls and not on other issues,” he added.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee said though Ghosh correctly chracterised his party, when a parliamentarian of his camp refutes his stance, it raises serious doubts on his credibility to lead the BJP in Bengal.
He wrote on Twitter, “Although @DilipGhoshBJP correctly characterized his party, his own MP refuting his stance publicly raises serious doubts over his credibility to lead BJP in Bengal. Dilip Babu please let us ALL know if your statements are to be seen as personal opinion or views of your party.”
Earlier in July 2017, there was a tussle between the two when Supriyo, who represents the Asansol Lok Sabha constituency, had taken to Twitter to state that Ghosh has asked him not to interfere in the party’s organisational work at the local level.
Trouble had begun after BJP councillor Emmanuel Wheeler, who was said to be unhappy with the party’s district leadership, had joined the Trinamool Congress. When Supriyo tried to discuss the matter with Ghosh, the latter is said to have asked the Union minister to stay away from organisational matters.
“Dilip Da (state BJP chief Dilip Ghosh) has told me that running the organisation is not the job of an MP or MLA. So I do not interfere in the organisation any more. You carry out your work. I was with you, I will be with you,”
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