KOLKATA: Dilip Ghosh, BJP’s West Bengal chief known for frequent political threats, has waded into a fresh controversy. Mr Ghosh, who is prepping for party boss Amit Shah’s visit to the state next week, has said, leaders ruling the roost today would soon be in jail or killed in encounters.
“Every bullet will be made to count,” Mr Ghosh said at Jalpaiguri 600 km north of state capital Kolkata on Tuesday. He was addressing a protest rally outside the district administration office which, BJP claims, works on the dictats of chief minister Mamata Bnaerjee’s Trinamool party.
“Leaders who indulge in hooliganism in Bengal will soon either be in jail or straight away there will be an encounter,” he started.
“Remember Gabbar Singh’s dialogue? How many bullets are in this gun,” he said, his palm clenched to imitate a pistol. He was referring to the lines of the arch-villain of Bollywood blockbuster “Sholay” before he kills three associates who let him down.
“The bullets will be counted and given…. And corpses will be counted too,” he said.
The Jalpaiguri police filed a case against Mr Ghosh and three others on four counts – of illegal assembly, violating prohibitory orders, obstructing government officials and threatening policemen. The district Trinamool leadership has demanded his arrest.
“His language is shocking. The language of a terrorist, not a political leader in a democracy,” said minister Gautam Deb. “Police should file a case against him and put him behind bars,” said local MLA and state minister Rabindranath Ghosh.
Mr Ghosh response to the police cases: “There are already many cases against me. What does it matter if there is one more?” he said.In his speech, Mr Ghosh left no room for doubt who he was threatening: Trinamool, specifically its Birbhum chief Anubrata Mondal who he referred to by Mamata Bnaerjee’s nickname: Keshto.Mr Mondal is also known for making questionable remarks, including threats of violence. Mamata Banerjee herself has had to try and rein him in for remarks like, “Go bomb the police.”
End May, Trinamool lawmaker Abhishek Banerjee threatened to make Purulia district opposition free. A day later, a youth was found hanging in Purulia with anti-BJP messages scrawled on his shirt. Mr Banerjee was criticised and forced to offer some explanation of his comment.“There is a limit to our tolerance,” Mr Ghosh said, pledging retributive action against alleged strong-arm tactics of Trinamool leaders.
This isn’t the first time that Mr Ghosh has landed himself in a row for shooting off his mouth. In the past, he has also threatened beheading for those shouting anti-national or pro-Pakistan slogans. Ahead of this year’s panchayat elections, he had claimed that the fight for the local body elections would not end at polling stations but would reach crematoriums.